For the 254 graduates of the Class of 2012, it was time to say goodbye to Blach Intermediate School.
Time to reflect on what happened those two years. Time to anticipate with that tingle of the unknown, the next chapter in their preparation for adulthood.
Class president Samantha Rubenstein welcomed the class and led the gathering through the flag salute, with a performance of the National Anthem by Blachappell
Five speakers—Avalon Edwards, Colin Yap, Samantha Rubenstein, Grace Tankersley and James Hollingsworth—represented the class of 2012, touching on different aspects of what described their lives at Blach.
They spoke about how close their class was, and the special relatioship with their teachers, they talked about how Blach challenged them and taught them what it means to light the fire of learning, as William Butler Yeats said. They talked about the changes they had gone through.
It had been a eventful two years in junior high school.
The names were called, and trustees presented the diplomas.
Principal Leslie Crane, who is leaving Blach after several years had some parting thoughts for them, as they make this transition from childhood to adulthood.
"Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth," she said. "Twenty years from now you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked."
The Seventh Grade Symphony played Iphigenia in Aulis, as the new graduates left the ceremony to mingle over cookies and water with friends, take pictures of each other and give long hugs.
And, then, bit by bit, they left, out into the world for their next chapter.