Another first has just transpired at The New Century School: the first-ever student to start at the then-brand-new TNCS campus at age 2 and ascend all the way through the preprimary, primary, elementary, and middle school divisions has just graduated 8th grade. Yes, the class of 2023 has done it: they are high school bound. They are TNCS’s fourth graduating class.
This school year at TNCS has been a transformative one, and, as TNCS Head of School Erika Johnson eloquently stated at Wednesday’s 8th-grade graduation ceremony, endings are really only beginnings. One chapter closes to allow another to open. This is true not just for the 2023 TNCS graduates, but also for the school itself. Refer to the retrospective post to revisit all the heights scaled, victories achieved, and obstacles hurdled in TNCS’s first 13 years as a school, and then just reflect back on this 2022–2023 school year to really see TNCS coming into its own. We owe this to all of the vision; love; nurturing; energy; passion; and, yes, sometimes, headaches, that go into founding and then sustaining a school from TNCS community members both past and present.
Class of 2023 Ceremony
As always, the ceremony was heartwarming and bittersweet, engendering as many (joyful) tears as smiles. The graduates were dressed in white from head to toe, with bright yellow sashes around their shoulders. They were resplendent.
TNCS Dean of Student Support Alexis Boyd was Master of Ceremonies, while speakers included Head of School Erika Johnson with the commencement address and other beautiful speeches from TNCS Music Director Martellies Warren as well as from various TNCS students. The graduating 8th-graders passed the baton to the rising 8th-graders, and the rising 8th-graders to the rising 6th-graders (who very, very solemnly “accepted”). Ms. Johnson’s ask of the graduates is that they move through their next chapters as “trustworthy,” “steadfast,” and “true” human beings. They fervently promised to do so, one of many very touching moments.
Some rousing musical performances followed, and then each student gave a bouquet of flowers to their teachers, who were sitting opposite from them on the stage. Finally, each student was presented with their graduation certificate and had a photo op with Ms. Johnson on stage. At this point, smiles had reached maximum width! For your viewing pleasure, here are the wonderful photos gathered from parents, Ms. Boyd, and even some students.
With this post, we also want to share TNCS’s accomplishments from a different perspective—that of the graduates themselves. They’ve been active participants in not only blossoming within its walls but also in shaping the school from the inside out. So let’s hear it from them! They are each true TNCS originals.
My fondest memory at TNCS is this one time where me and [M] would ‘go to the bathroom’ and stay outside for like 15 minutes, thinking we were so cool. Some VERY found memories that involved me getting into trouble include me stealing Kate’s gel pens and REFUSING to admit I did it, stealing [I’s] squishy toys and iPod, and the uh…van incident (I’m so glad I am not that type of troublemaker anymore). Every second hanging out with the 4th and 5th grade classes was incredible. All of them were like my long lost cousins, and felt like a second family. The amount of times we burst out laughing and supporting each other through our hardships will forever warm my heart.
One of my favorite memories from TNCS was when the 7th and 8th grade classes went to Puerto Rico. This was such a special experience and to be on vacation with all of my friends was something I wasn’t expecting to happen. I will always remember this trip.
Whether it was playing games at recess, having hotdog eating contests at the Spring Fest, or us goofing off during dismissal, there was never a dull moment with these 8th-graders!
Coming into my 8th grade year, I didn’t expect much. I was ready to get over this grade level and go on to the next. I didn’t expect to meet the people I did. This year hasn’t been the greatest, but I don’t think I would change it. Maybe some bits, but I really am grateful for the time I have had. I remember graduation, and my parents got the time wrong so they came after the event. I told Ms. Boyd and Mrs. Johnson, and at first I thought they were joking when they brought up the idea to redo the graduation for my parents to see, but to my surprise they weren’t. We redid the graduation, and I think that’s one of the nicest things someone did for me. So in other words I really am grateful for the time I was given at The New Century School.
My fondest memory was when I went on the Superman when we were on a field trip to Six Flags, I was excited to go on the ride and I enjoyed it 😄!
Editor’s Note: More quotes will be added as they come in. Some students were not ready for more homework so soon after graduating 😅🎓! Indeed, we owe a very special thanks to CH and KW for collecting the student quotes!