Families Unite with Faculty and Staff to Celebrate Students’ Accomplishments During Lower School Closing Exercises

Our Lower School community gathered remotely for Closing Exercises on June 11. In addition to small classroom celebrations, there was a separate “moving up” time for Third Grade.
Families and teachers came together one last time during the 2019-20 school year to mark the successful completion of a year that was truly like no other. Emotions ran high as we celebrated our students’ significant accomplishments, particularly the resilience and adaptability that they have displayed while adjusting to remote learning these past few months.
During our Third Grade Closing Exercises, we congratulated our third-grade boys as they took their next steps in their journey as Allen-Stevenson boys and moved up to the Middle School.
Lower School Head Stephen Warner spoke to attendees about the message of the term Ubuntu by telling a poignant story about a girl: “She understood that her humanity, her joy, her happiness and her life was tied to others and that she is not alone in this world. She understood that it is not ‘I am because I am,’ but ‘I am because we are.’”
Mr. Warner tied this concept to our Closing Exercising by saying, “I leave you with that powerful message today and hope that the gift of Ubuntu that the little girl gave me that day will be carried on by each of you. I want to close by telling you how proud I am of you and feel privileged to have been part of your collective ‘we’ at Allen-Stevenson.”
Assistant Lower School Head for Third Grade Kristin Filling reflected on our boys’ growth. “In Third Grade, we focus on having a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset entails seeing obstacles as opportunities, being resilient in the face of adversity, and persevering even when things are hard,” said Ms. Filling. “This year, a growth mindset mattered more than ever. Despite it all, you grew and you learned! You managed your time and connected with your teachers and classmates from the safety of your homes. So now, you are all ready to move on and head to Middle School. I am so incredibly proud of the effort, attitude, and learning I have been able to witness these last months. You have truly embodied the spirit of a growth mindset.”
Our third graders’ teachers - past and present - also recorded heartfelt video messages for our boys, reflecting on their many and tremendous accomplishments during their time as Allen-Stevenson Lower Schoolers.
We want to thank our student speakers for the immense effort they put into preparing heartfelt speeches on behalf of their class and for the poise with which they presented them over Zoom to a live audience. A huge thank you to Agastya Srivastava, Harrison Smith, and Nicholas and Sebastian Bral.
A huge thank you as well to Will Patrick and Miles Hunter for their beautiful musical performances.
Congratulations, third-grade boys! We cannot wait to see how much you will continue to grow and learn in Middle School.

Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.