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Middle School Closing Celebrates Eighth Grade

The Middle School Closing Ceremony on Friday, May 29 included all the traditional elements. Set on Childs Memorial Terrace, it featured music, speeches, awards, and the celebration of the 115 eighth graders who are moving on to Upper School. The difference in the 2020 ceremony, of course, was that it was virtual due to the quarantine. Rather than gathering under the shade trees to hear the reflections and advice and to watch the students receive their certificates of completion, families gathered around their computer screens from their homes.

The ceremony began with a welcome from Kate Mueller, Interim Head of Middle School, who noted the historic significance of the occasion. Following the Invocation by Bridget Collins ’90, the Charles W. Britton Director of Character and Service, Steve Martel and his son performed an original song, We’re All in this Together, as pictures from the 2019- 2020 school year flashed on the screen. Student speakers Jack S. ’27, Minoo N. ’26, and Max F. ’25 shared their perspectives on the school year and wished the eighth graders well in Upper School. This was followed by remarks from Trevor P. ‘24 who reflected on the Class of 2024’s journey through Lower and Middle School and Zarina H. ’24 who spoke about the future.

Before the presentation of the eighth grade awards, members of McDonogh Singers, the OnStage Class, and McDonogh faculty, accompanied by Jacob Rose ’20, sang River in Judea conducted by Suzanne Eldridge. Finally, Associate Head of Middle School Jennifer Bowders gave the closing remarks addressing the students’ growth and the significance of the relationships they formed over the years. She concluded, “Class of 2024, as you embark on the next step of your journey, take comfort in knowing that all you need already resides within you.”

The ceremony continued with the Founder’s Day Song performed by McDonogh’s Virtual Choir including the McDonogh Singers and the Seventh and Eighth Grade OnStage Classes. After the Benediction by Bridget Collins, the program ended. Watch the Middle School Closing Ceremony here.