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Ceremony Sends Class of 2027 on to “Countless Moments” of Growth


A grid of photos from eighth-grade closing (1)

Clockwise from top: Eighth-graders enjoy their luncheon in the Olander Center dining hall; Associate Head of Middle School Nicole Brown gives Chris Nickolas ’27 his certificate as eighth-grade team lead Garrett Cummings applauds; Head of Middle School Bernardo Guzmán makes opening remarks.


Head of Middle School Bernardo Guzmán and the Middle School leadership team were joined by Head of School Doreen Kelly and Head of Upper School Aaron Sundstrom in celebrating the Class of 2027 as they wrapped up their time in the division. Middle School faculty, staff and families were also in attendance for this joyous milestone, which took place in Warner Arena in the A.E. Finley Activity Center on the last day of the school year, June 2.

Members of the class — who had enjoyed a special luncheon in the dining hall of the Olander Center for Student Life with their advisors, teachers, friends and classmates earlier in the day — processed into the arena to “Nimrod” by Edward Elgar, performed by co-director of bands Matt Parunak and staff accompanist S.K. Chipley.

Eighth-graders Yara Othman ’27, Michael Schulze ’27, Gabby Spivey ’27 and Carys Thomas ’27 led the assembly in singing the National Anthem, followed by the Ravenscroft Anthem, “Behold, Our Banner.” The latter was sung by fine arts faculty Mary Royall Hight, Rebecca Ledford and Robert Strebendt.

Associate Head of Middle School Nicole Brown gave the invocation. Guzmán then welcomed everyone to the program, first taking a moment to praise and thank all members of the Middle School faculty and staff. 

He also took the time to remind eighth-graders — noting that their parents likely know this all too well — of how quickly time passes and how easy it is to let the important moments of life slip by. Quoting the movie character Ferris Bueller, he said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

He continued:

A grid of photos from eighth-grade closing (2)

Clockwise from top: Amelia Cafaro ’27, Corrinne Carter ’27, Eleanor Gottsegen ’27 and Karolyna Huntanar ’27 clap for their classmates as certificates are presented; proud parents capture the moment on their cell phones; Head of Upper School Aaron Sundstrom congratulates Emma Hessler ’27.


You’ve all had great experiences during your time in middle school. We’ve had some of them together! Often the easiest to recall are the big ones — dances, the D.C. trip, white-water rafting. Chances are, you were paying attention to those. Chances are that you did take advantage of those experiences, that you were present. 

Those are the easy ones.

What I’d like you to slow down and notice are the smaller moments. The quieter moments. The moments that ask more of you. The moments that challenge you. The moments that at first seem small and, upon reflection, are huge. Moments of self-discovery, moments of self-doubt. Moments that connect us and moments that pull us apart.

In your high school experience, you’ll have plenty of big moments — you’ve probably got some you’re looking forward to already. And when those big moments come, I have no doubt you’ll be paying attention. 

You’ll also have countless moments, if you’re open to them, that are smaller, quieter, but no less impactful. 

So slow down. Look around once in a while, and notice those too. 

Next, led by choir director Robert Strebendt, eighth-grade students in the Middle School choir and string programs performed “Fly Away Home” by Pink Zebra, and then Kelly, Guzmán and Sundstrom presented certificates to students. Families looked on proudly as their soon-to-be ninth-graders crossed the stage and posed for a picture, certificates in hand.

Following the recessional, students and their guests enjoyed a reception in the Olander Center dining hall, celebrating the completion of their own milestone accomplishments and looking ahead to the summer and, after that, the transition to the Upper School.

Congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2027!

Read the program for this assembly here, and enjoy photos from this and other special end-of-year events on our Flickr page.