June 16, 2016
On Friday, June 10 sixteen eighth grade students took the stage to become Kent School’s forty-seventh graduating class. Members of the Class of 2016 were joined by family, friends and students as they were recognized for the many accomplishments in academics, athletics and leadership roles. Chris Gorycki, Headmaster of Kent School addressed the graduates and, quoting the poem The Paradoxical Commandment by Dr. Keith A. Kent, challenged the graduates to rise above the judgements of others.
“ People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway. . .”
Gorycki’s remarks were followed by three student speeches. Amy Brookshire, Hadley Perez and Lisa Robinson each reflected on their years as Kent School students in different ways. Brookshire offered not a goodbye, but a hello to “the future that is about to be explored. We are embarking on an adventure that will be both exciting and difficult, but this is no ordinary class. The classmates behind me and I have proven throughout the years that we are a strong, determined family. If someone falls, we are there to catch him or her. We are ready for what is to unfold before us . . .”
Hadley Perez likened her Kent School journey to the stages of a butterfly’s development. She began with the egg stage and pre-school and finished with all the events leading up to “Your wings are finally all spread out, each with our own unique colors and patterns, It’s time. Time to be released to the world beyond what we have always known. . .Each stage prepared us and gave us the courage we have today to fly. To fly free, to fly confidently in the direction of our destiny.”
In the final student speech, Lisa Robinson referenced her class’s fourth grade Bay Studies field trip. “Just like in the swamp when you first enter it is easy, then once you get to the center of it all, you feel as if you’re in quicksand. Then you remember that you’re not alone and that all you have to do is ask for help. Surely someone will come to your aid.”
Several awards were presented at the ceremony. First, The Brian B. Kane Scholarship is presented to a seventh grade student who maintains a determined effort to produce quality school work. The selected recipient has an attitude that is helpful, cooperative and responsible. The 2016 Brian B. Kane Scholarship winner was Campbell Parkhurst.
Awards given to eighth grade students included the Americanism Award, The Joan C. Merriken award for Excellence in Literature and the Osprey Award. The Americanism Award was presented to Annaliesse Cantera for her exemplary citizenship. “This award places emphasis on qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service.” Middle school teacher, Jim Landskroener presented the award on behalf of the Rock Hall American Legion Post 228.
The Joan C. Merriken Award for Excellence in Literature, named for Kent School’s founding Headmistress was presented by Mrs. Merriken’s daughter, Susan Haggerty. “The student receiving this award demonstrates a love of reading, an appreciation of and sensitivity to the writer’s art and an ability to respond to literature on an intellectual as well as an emotional level.” Amy Brookshire was the recipient of this award.
Finally, the Osprey Award, given in recognition of the student or students who best represent the positive qualities of leadership and excellence to the Kent School community. Their contribution to the school can take many forms: athletic, artistic, academic or personal. The 2016 Osprey Award winners were Sarah Bowyer and Peyton Taylor.
Headmaster, Chris Gorycki said “We are extraordinarily proud of each member of the Class of 2016 and we are confident they are prepared to meet success as they face new challenges. It is our sincere hope that these graduates and all Kent School alumni think of Kent School as their second home. They will always be welcome at the end of Wilkins Lane.”
Members of the Class of 2016 will be attending the following secondary schools: The Gunston School, Kent County High School, McDonogh School, Mercersberg Academy, Queen Anne’s County High School, St. Andrew’s School, and St. Mary’s High School.
Kent School is an independent school located in Chestertown serving children from pre-k through eighth grade. For more information about Kent School visit www.kentschool.org or call 410-778-4100 ext. 110.
Pictured left to right seated:
Grayson McKenzie, Annabelle Gillespie, Annaliesse Cantera, Payton Lord, Hadley Perez, Eileen Ashley, Sarah Bowyer, Amy Brookshire, Lisa Robinson
Standing left to right:
Alex Wilson, Peyton Taylor, Spencer McKenzie, Joey Cerino, Nathan Brice, Tad Jacob, Giovanni Procaccini – Contributed Photo