8th Grade Class Celebrates Virtual ‘Moving Up’

The class of 2024 celebrated their 8th grade graduation during a virtual ceremony on May 15. The virtual celebration ushered the Class of ’24 into their next chapter as upper school students at The Benjamin School. Head of Middle School Charles Hagy opened the program, standing alone on the stage of an empty Benjamin Hall.

“Though our campus is closed for the remainder of the year our school continues as it always will. During this time we have worked hard to connect with our students in virtual classes, advisory, and assembly, even though we continue to find ourselves physically separated from each other . . . Middle School faculty miss our daily interactions with our students, especially our eighth graders – the leaders of our class,” said Hagy.

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Hagy said that despite the unprecedented circumstances, the middle school community has continued to be resilient. He then introduced Andrew Lappin, who was nominated by his teachers for exemplifying and embodying the 12 Benjamin Values. Lappin gave the evening’s invocation, written by Dr. Lawrence James.

Hagy thanked School founders Marshall and Nancy Benjamin for their vision and example along with the faculty whose mentoring and hard work “makes a difference in the lives of our students each day.”

“Thank you to the class of 2024 for a terrific three years and to our parents and families watching from home, thank you for trusting Benjamin with what is most precious in life – your children,” said Hagy. Hagy also thanked Interim Head of School Tom Reid for his wisdom and leadership through this school year before introducing Student Council President Maggie Smith.

Smith reflected on her middle school experience, including fond memories of field days and the capstone 8th grade trip to Washington, DC.

“We’ve learned about doing our part to make a better, wiser, and kinder world. We have been given a solid foundation and look forward to doing our part in bettering this world especially in uncertain times,” said Smith.

“Although I may be speaking to you through my computer it does not lessen the importance of this ceremony or the achievements that we accomplished,” said Smith.

Hagy then presented the Class of 2024 who were each individually recognized by name, class portrait and their favorite quote. Upper School student speaker Aidan Neidoff ’21 followed the presentation of the Class of 2024, offering his advice about how to be a successful high school student.

“What you put in is what you get out,” said Neidoff. “Appreciate every second you have in high school, good and bad. Appreciate every moment, all the peaks and valleys because they are too precious to let slip by.”

Head of Upper School Fletcher Carr then welcomed the class to the upper school. Carr congratulated them on their middle school career, and said he is very excited to get to know the class as upper school students. Carr wished for the class three things: confidence, the ability to be open to change, and adaptability.

“Be adaptable . . . if we have not learned anything in the last couple months . . . my guess is the one thing we have learned is that we don’t know what the next day will bring. There have been tragic days, time to think as we’ve been home with families and loved ones and I think in that case that thinking is going to bear some very interesting fruit over the coming years,” said Carr.
“There are many ways in which we can grow and help society from where we are now . . . jump in and be a part of that.”
A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.
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