In the presence of their community and peers a group of 39 adolescents took a big step onto the four-year path to adulthood. Right before the eyes of the audience in Charlotte Central School’s multi-purpose, community room, they transformed from middle schoolers to high schoolers.
Just like that, the Charlotte Central School class of 2023 became the Champlain Valley Union High School class of 2027.
Meredith Golek kicked off the transformation as the first student speaker at the eighth-grade graduation on Thursday night, June 15.
Golek said her classmates had been instrumental in shaping her into the person she became at Charlotte Central School.
“I’m excited to go into high school as a stronger, newer version of myself, which I couldn’t have done without you,” Golek said.
“As they prepare to go on their educational journey, we stand here, proud witnesses to their growth and readiness for what lies ahead,” said principal Jen Roth and Courtney Krahn assistant principal in a shared statement they read antiphonally.
This would be one of Krahn’s last official appearances at Charlotte Central as next school year she is taking a job closer to her home in the Addison Central School District.
“Charlotte Central School has been a place of self-discovery, where you’ve explored your interests, discovered your talents and forged friendships that will endure for years to come. You’ve taken your first step towards independence, learning valuable lessons about responsibility, time management and the importance of teamwork,” Roth read, for the most part with a straight face and level diction. However, at the words “time management,” her eyebrows went up, seeming to indicate she thinks time management might still be a work in progress.
“Success is not measured solely by academic achievements, but by who you become along the way,” Krahn said. “Lift each other up, celebrate each other’s accomplishments and support one another during times of struggle.”
The teachers entered to “Lean on Me,” and music from Taylor Swift and Arianna Grande punctuated the ceremony.
After a group of students sung Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me,” Eloise Glasscoe said she would like to thank the teachers for not only teaching math, literature, science and language, but also respectfulness, honesty, pride and perseverance.
Amelie Fairweather started at Charlotte Central School in the third grade. Before that she’d been in many other schools, but she said, none of them welcomed her like Charlotte Central.
“I’ve been at this school for 2,227 days; 2,227 days with the same people every day,” Fairweather said, adding she began to number the days last year, not because she wanted to leave, but because she didn’t want to.
“On my first day, I had six years. Today, I have one hour,” Fairweather said. “Many things, I didn’t think would be so important, have now turned into things I wish I had the energy to write down.”
She thanked her teachers and her classmates, who she said “are all genuinely some of the funniest, sweetest, craziest people I’ve met, especially my lunch table.”
Then from Caleb Albertson to Bryant T. Yackel the graduates came up one at a time to receive their diploma and a handshake. Some of the 39 even remembered to pause and smile for a photo before stepping into the future.