There were tears, laughs, hugs and memories flowing throughout the entire graduation ceremony for the Chesapeake Academy’s Class of 2011 on Friday as students shared their thoughts about attending the school over the years.
Head Master Jay Scheurle welcomed family and friends to the ceremony, reflecting on the fact that most of these students entered the building at the same time he did.
“I remember you provided me artwork to decorate my office,” he told the students in his address. “I still have them today.”
Pat Troy, one of the founders of the school, addressed the students, congratulating the graduates for “meeting the school’s challenges and expectations.”
Members of the faculty then performed “Don’t Ever Give Up,” a touching reminder to graduates to always follow their dreams despite life’s challenges. A tradition of the school, the performance stirred emotions of both students and family members.
The graduates were then given an opportunity to share their thoughts about their experiences at the school. From a “Top Ten List” to handwritten poems, the fifth graders emphasized the importance of what they absorbed over the years.
Aidan Wong said the memories he had of the school made a big impression. “I am inspired to be a better person,” he said, “and the lifelong lessons I learned I will never forget.”
Lucy Leonard remarked on the school’s expansion during her time at the school. “We have all been growing as the school has,” she said. “I will miss everyone, even the boys.”
Delaney Webb said the school had made a lasting impact on her. “It changed my life. I am more confident about myself.”
After their remarks, the fifth grade performed an emotional number for all in the room, thanking in particular their parents with a traditional performance of “Thank You, Mom & Dad.”
Jackie Cwalina of Annapolis, mom to fifth-grader Brendan, couldn’t contain her pride in this particular milestone.
“I am just so proud of him and all he has done,” she said. “I know he is embarrassed, but this moment means a lot.”