135 Maple School Eighth-Graders Graduate on May 30
On May 30, at 6:00 p.m., during this year of the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent hybrid and remote learning, with a dash of an adaptive pause, Maple School’s eighth-grade class of 2021 were able to graduate at Glenbrook North High School’s stadium, as their families sat in bleachers on each side of the athletic field. The sun shone, the sky boasted cotton puff clouds, and the American flag held a horizontal pose throughout the evening.
One-hundred-and-thirty-five students donned in navy graduation gowns, garnished with the orange Maple School ribbon, wore Maple masks while marching proudly with their fellow classmates to the podium when it was their turn to receive their diploma. Being ever mindful of social distancing, Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley, Maple Principal Sam Kurtz, and Board of Education members did not shake each graduates' hand as is tradition; instead, each pupil received a fist-bump!
The Master of Ceremonies was eighth-grade representative David Kang who introduced eighth-grade representative Nicole Rogoff, who gave a warm welcome to the audience. Heartfelt and inspirational speeches were presented by Maple School Principal Samuel Kurtz, Board of Education President Nancy Artz, and Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brian K. Wegley.
This was followed by a beautiful rendition of “Over the Rainbow” with Music Director Decima Panitch and the Maple Choir, and Maple alums from the class of 2018, Hallie Baer and Samantha Gregerman.
The class speech was delivered by Mia Hermann, whose words expressed gratefulness, thoughtfulness, hopefulness, and even included some humorous analogies. She talked about all of the lessons she has learned, the wonderful friends she has made, and the great memories that were made at Maple School.
"Even though there were challenges, this class kept each other going using humor, helping each other with homework, and encouraging each other. We even sang old rock songs, when necessary! We worked hard and were determined. We couldn’t have succeeded without each other. Yes, this year was different and harder, but our Maple teachers and staff were always there. Thanks to all of you, we were able to safely come to school and have graduation during a pandemic year!” said Ms. Hermann.
Ms. Hermann explained how each of her classes helped her grow as a reader and problem solver, adding that she also learned more about the world, and how to be more curious.
"I encourage you all to explore, dream, discover, do whatever 'floats your boat,’ but please do not tell yourself that you can’t do something! Believing in yourself is half the battle to achieving success. Good luck Class of 2021!” she concluded.
Following, Assistant Principal Elizabeth Holzkopf and Gifted Coordinator/Differentiated Instruction Specialist Robyn Kogan presented awards to qualified students. The Presentation of Graduates was given by Math teacher Sarah Arends and Science teacher Robin Dombeck.
Board of Education members President Nancy Artz, Mrs. Zivit Blonder, Mr. Ammar Rizki, Mr. Keith Karchmar, Dr. Stephanie Yohannan, Mr. Daniel Levin, and Vice President Mr. Jeff Zuercher, all participated in the Presentation of Diplomas to the students.
"Thank you all for your cooperation and for making this a memorable evening for the graduates, families, and guests,” stated Principal Samuel Kurtz.
In conclusion, the band and orchestra, led by Sam Pilnick and Renee Yoo, played the “Triumphal March" from “Aida"….G Verdi.
The 2021 Maple School Program Cover was designed by David Kang and Marisa Chi.
Maple School 2021 Graduates