Eighth-Grade Celebration

Family, faculty, and staff celebrated members of the Class of 2025 as they completed their time in Middle School.
Middle School—a notorious time of growth and change—officially wrapped up for the members of the Class of 2025. On a sunny Monday evening, students made their way across Smith Courtyard to celebrate their completion of eighth grade. 

To begin the program, Ms. Lynne Macziewski, Head of Middle School, welcomed those in attendance. “This evening we gather to celebrate the talents, hard work, growth, and accomplishments of each and every girl in the Class of 2025, and we could not be more excited to do so.”

Dr. R. Kirk Walker Jr., Interim Head of School, delivered the invocation, which was followed by a performance of “Thank You for Being a Friend” by the Middle School Advanced Orchestra, directed by Ms. Mary Baxter.

Following the musical performance, Lindsey King, Eighth-Grade English Teacher, introduced student speakers, who shared parts of English essays they wrote reflecting on their time in Middle School at GPS. 

Eighth-grade speakers included Ani Bhushan, Ebba Cox, Caroline Grant, Maddie Houghton, Natalie McCorvie, Sylvie Miller, Eliana Tabibiazar, and Emily Tolar, and each girl talked about learning to grow, the little moments, and sisterhood.

After the speeches, Macziewski presented the certificates to each girl as her family and friends cheered her achievement.

After the presentation of certificates, Jordan McCarter, Dean of the Eighth-Grade Class, offered her charge to the class, reminiscing on middle school advice she had heard from students, which ranged from “find good friends” to “live in the moment,” “turn in homework on time,” and “be kind to yourself.”

She said, “What struck me about each of these statements was that it’s not just middle school advice. It’s good upper school advice. It’s actually good life advice.”

She then delved deeper into each piece of advice, referencing the sisterhood at GPS, how fast time goes by, and the importance of soaking up every experience they can over the next four years.

McCarter closed by saying that while there are unknowns associated with the transition to Upper School, they needn’t worry. “You have been well prepared for your next steps in life. But don’t take it from me, take your own advice. You’ve got this. And think back and say to yourself, ‘Wow! Look how far I’ve come.’”
Macziewski returned to the stage to share her closing remarks, first asking the students to help her thank their parents and guardians, siblings, and extended family members who walked alongside them throughout their Middle School journey. The girls also cheered for the faculty and staff. 

She then spoke to the students about their resilience, perseverance, grit, and determination throughout this unprecedented year but said, “Instead of reflecting back, as we have done so much this year, I’d like to look forward with anticipation and excitement for what is to come.” She touched on coordinate events, study halls, and other Upper School privileges.

To conclude her speech, Macziewski offered the following sentiments: “I am hopeful that, as you leave here today, you will hang on tightly to the relationships you have formed, as well as branch out to build new ones. You will enter the Upper School this fall as different young women, ready to flourish in new ways, just as you do each year you step back on campus. Value each girl here today for the person she is and the person she will grow to be. Open your heart and your minds to new ideas, new people, and continue to expand your circle of friends to include each and every girl sitting here beside you, as well as the new young women who will join your class over the next few years.”

Congratulations, GPS Class of 2025, on your successful completion of Middle School! We can’t wait for August and the first day of the 2021-22 school year when you will take your “walk across the lawn” to officially mark the beginning of the next chapter in your GPS journey: Upper School!

Photos from our Eighth-Grade Celebration are available on our SmugMug account for you to enjoy, download for free, or order prints for a small fee. To watch the recording of the livestream, visit our YouTube channel.