Junior School Closing Ceremony looks back on a year of growth

“How have you, and how have we, grown from this year?” This is the question Head of Junior School Jennifer Wyatt posed as she opened this year’s Junior School Closing Ceremony, presented online via video on Thursday, June 18th. The 2019-2020 academic year has been one of change – and growth – for our youngest students at Trinity College School, and not just as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that closed campus and led to online learning for students since March Break.

Ms. Wyatt began by reminding families of some of the amazing experiences and initiatives that happened throughout the year, including the new Hearts & Minds Project that saw Grade 8 students undertake a year-long project related to a cause close to their hearts, the creation of a Junior School MasterKey team to support prospective families, trips to Bark Lake, Ste-Marie among the Hurons and Ecuador, and so much more! Before reading from the book Now by Antoinette Portis, Ms. Wyatt asked students to consider: “How present were you and how much did you appreciate the events and people of this 2019-2020 year?” As the book concludes, “This is my favourite now, because it’s the one I’m having with you.”

Although everyone missed having the traditional ceremony on campus, the staff of the Junior School, along with Mr. Rick Traugott from the philanthropy & alumni office, created a lovely ceremony video in which each and every student was recognized.

In addition to the presentation of grade completion certificates, several awards were handed out to students in Grades 5 through 7. TCS Parents’ Guild president Nancy Sanderson presented Guild Citizenship Awards to Maeve Sheil, Sam Nadurata, Sophie Ahuja and Alexander Pickering. Effort Awards went to Connor Demrovsky, Heather Northey, Landon Demrovsky and Hibah Tahir. And the Grade 7 medals for highest academic average were earned by Landon Demrovsky (bronze), Hibah Tahir (silver) and Arjun Sharma (gold).

Then it was time to celebrate the members of the Grade 8 graduating class, starting with the presentation of awards. The Fred Martin Memorial Arts Awards went to Lauren Wilson (visual art) and Emerson Mendum (music), while the Heber Rogers Trophy for Athletics was shared by Val Northey and Noah Fowler. The Barbara Winsor Piccini Award was received by Darcy Lanning and Anna Dobrinski; the Stanford Award by Lone Mullins; and the Rodger & Louise Wright Award by Hannah Bailey and Nolan McReelis. The Boulden Award was presented to Alexis Stewart, while the Philip Ketchum Cup went to Emerson Mendum. The Grade 8 medals for highest academic average were earned by Madison Miller (bronze), Junhyeong Hong (silver) and Val Northey (Tottenham Cup/gold).

Grade 8 valedictorian Madison Miller reflected with gratitude on her time in Boulden House, saying, “In the Junior School I’ve learned how we all support each other and lead with kindness.” She pointed to the focus on helping others through the Hearts & Minds Project, and the leadership trip to Bark Lake, as among the year’s highlights. She concluded, “Our current experience reminds us of the value of having strong community and the essential nature of empowered young voices who will be needed to help our world recover and flourish.”

The graduating class was then introduced, with Grade 8 teachers Steve Murray and Stefan Wilson sharing three things of which each student was most proud during their time in the Junior School. It was a wonderful celebration of the students’ contributions to the life of the School.

The event ended with Headmaster Stuart Grainger congratulating the students and staff of the Junior School and reminding them of the importance of “10 two-letter words: if it is to be it is up to me… You can do this – you did do this.”