Head of School Paul Stellato began the event with remarks for the MS students, families and faculty. Mr. Stellato lauded the eighth graders for their strength, camaraderie and leadership in the face of adversity this spring. In a message to the Eighth Grade, Mr. Stellato said, "Having led the Middle School so wisely and respectfully when we were together, you decided to do so in our collective absence. Although you did not wait for troubled times to distinguish you, you refused to be daunted by them. Congratulations and well done!"
Head of Middle School Renée Price continued the assembly by acknowledging the collective growth, both physically and personally, that the Middle Schoolers demonstrated throughout this year. Mrs. Price also praised the faculty and deans for encouraging and watching over the students as they collectively "climbed the mountain" that symbolized this year, and particularly this spring. She also acknowledged the four MS faculty members who will be moving on next year: Counselor Danielle Santoro, MS English teacher Jill Brown, MS Science teacher Corey Dempsey and MS Math teacher Alesia Klein.
Left to right: Danielle Santoro, Jill Brown, Corey Dempsey and Alesia Klein
Mrs. Price's message to the eighth graders focused on maintaining and building community within the class as they rise up to the Upper School and also welcome some new faces. Mrs. Price implored, "This summer, we want to see you these next few months, we want you to stay connected to teachers and classmates. We want you to welcome new classmates early and often before the fall. So, when we can all be together again, our community will remain 'PDS Strong!'" Two student speakers, Amanda Chen '24 and Arjun Ray '24, then gave their remarks.
Highlights of the speeches made by Amanda Chen and Arjun Ray:
Amanda: "The best part of PDS is the people. The people who I spend time with five days a week. The people who support me. The people who care about me. The people with whom I've made so many great many memories. Without them my experience wouldn't have been nearly as great as it was. It's truly been a wonderful journey and the journey has really just begun!"
Arjun: "No matter what the circumstances, a Panther will always know what to do to pull through. We must take the best of what we've learned here and use it to the best of our ability. To my teachers, I am so grateful for the incredible knowledge you've given me and all of the indispensable lessons and advice you've taught me. I don't think anybody here would be who they are today without your help. To my classmates, it's been an absolute privilege to be amongst you and I wouldn't trade it for the world!"
- Slideshow Selections
- The presentation of each member of the Class of 2024 by Class Dean Nicole Mangino
- Singing of the PDS Alma Mater
Bonus reel! Here's a special Tik Tok video made by the 6th grade core teachers as a farewell and a fun way to cap off the school year;
All photos are screenshots from the MS Assembly video; Tik Tok video provided by the 6th grade core teachers.