The end of the school year is always a busy time for the Zoo Crew. This year, we juggled the activities and schedules of 4 different schools; not sure I can even calculate all the hours of homework the kids have done (or NOT done, hee hee hee). It's been an Adventure in true Zoo Crew fashion. We've all learned a lot this school year, but I admit the kids aren't the only ones who are excited to see the summer come.
We've always loved our little one traffic light town, and that love was reinforced by seeing the dedication and true happiness of the many Valley Elementary staff who attended the ceremony. A young teacher in her first year at Valley, Crissie Traugott was Katie's 5th grade teacher; she made a promise to her students that she'd keep tabs on them and join them for graduation...no empty promise there! She was there at the appointed hour, as were many folks without familial ties to a graduating student.
As a parent, it was a special pleasure to remember the kindergartners who started school together in the faces of the confident young men & women who received their diplomas last week.
Katie hit the road for Senior Week in Ocean City a couple of days after graduation. She'd probably better get used to the trip, since she'll be attending Salisbury University (which is just 30 minutes down the road from there) in the fall. While Katie has been sunning herself...
The rest of the family prepped for two more promotions, starting with Beastie #4's "Celebration of Excellence" in moving from 5th grade to Middle School. Again with the Valley wonderfulness! Ben's had a strange year; his first teacher left mid-year for a new job. Ben had a terrific relationship with his initial teacher and she was keeping him motivated and on track. The new teacher turned out to be pretty awesome in her own right, so it all worked out...but not before he struggled for a bit. He came out the other side of the transition in good shape and so very ready for the challenge of sixth grade. Couple more pics here: Ben doesn't like having his picture taken!
Last, but NOT least...Beastie #2's turn!! Sometimes, there are no words. How much prayer and hope and effort has gone into Patrick reaching this milestone? (NOT that those same things weren't there for the other beasties, mind you!) MSD always does an incredible job with their promotion ceremonies, and this year was no exception. No matter that it seems like yesterday we were celebrating his move from elementary to middle school...Movin' on to Middle School. But before I digress too far...
We arrived in Columbia, received a program and opened it up to see Patrick's name listed as a speaker for the 8th grade class!!! Kid kept it a secret from us, can't you believe it? He had a lot to say and he said it quite eloquently, too. I took video, but was so emotional that I forgot to focus the camera, so all you see is a Patrick blob on stage. *sigh* I will share the text of the speech in a different blog post.
Patrick was so excited about his graduation that he invited some of his important people to celebrate with us. We were happy to have Bryan, our new helper-friend, and Megan, signing bus assistant (who has been with Patrick for 6 years of bus rides), join with us for the festivities. What always strikes me about this school is the obvious care, concern and genuine love the MSD community has for their students. The folks there truly KNOW these kids and are clearly invested in their success--not to mention that they've got a tremendous talent for building a cohesive community among all the students. Patrick's Facebook friends list is a testimony to that sense of belonging and acceptance. (Well, that and the fact that he has Facebook at all...one of his dorm pals helped him sign up!) Patrick is really looking forward to high school. This mom is looking forward to him being closer to home!!!! More pictures here: On to High School.
Congratulations to ALL my kids on the move. Matthew says he doesn't feel left out because his birthday is coming up. In the meantime...here's what he looked like on Ben's birthday.
And Abbey...wait! Did I forget to mention that she had a birthday this week?? There isn't much else I can say 'bout that. But you can check out the pictures by clicking here. My baby turned 9.