On June 9, Maple School's eighth-grade class graduated in person with a full audience at Glenbrook North High School. The Maple School band and orchestra began the ceremony with "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 3", as 156 about-to-be graduates made their way to the stage. Eighth-grade representative and Master of Ceremonies Ellory Moran warmly welcomed the audience and introduced opening speaker Ethan Pollack, whose remarks were positive, inspiring, and had good humor weaved into his words.
He began by thanking the administration, Board, teachers, and staff for helping the class persevere through the challenging times of the pandemic. He credited the teachers' enthusiasm and fine leadership in making many memorable experiences for everyone, and for the epic strides achieved in the students' education these past years, despite having to navigate between in-person and virtual learning.
"During our time at Maple, we met a new Principal - Mr. Sam Kurtz; we experienced Maple School receiving the national Blue Ribbon award; had field trips, sports, a musical, and other activities! Mr. Kurtz says we have the chance every day to take the good take with us. We survived the pandemic and have emerged triumphant! It's the strength of the Maple Mustang 'herd' and we will take it to high school with us," Ethan concluded.
Principal Sam Kurtz commended the graduates for demonstrating what it means to be a "Maple Mustang," which is being a person who thinks of others and spreads joy at every opportunity.
"Nothing impeded your progress during these challenging years, and we remained united as a community. With the culmination of your hard work, you are graduating as proud leaders, who persevere, are resilient, and are determined. You will rock high school" exclaimed Mr. Kurtz.
"Congratulations to the class of 2022! The Board is proud to see that you have developed and continually demonstrated the core character that is the distinction of excellence that is Northbrook/Glenview School District 30," stated Board of Education President Nancy Artz.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brian Wegley then addressed the pupils, "There is no challenge that cannot be overcome together. Thank you all, for your care, inclusivity, energy, unique talents, perseverance, and resilience."
He also spoke about how "adversity defines us" and the skills and character traits gained during challenging times can help prepare us for the future.
"I have extreme hope for the future because of you. You should be optimistic. You work hard, value education, and know how to reach out for help when it is needed," said Dr. Wegley,
Next, the Maple School choir, led by Music Director Decima Panitch, performed a beautiful rendition of "Illinois."
This was followed by an uplifting speech by eighth-grade representative Helen Yang, who spoke of the lessons she has learned, the wonderful friends she has made, and the great memories that were had at Maple School.
Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley, Board President Nancy Artz, and Board Vice President Jeff Zuercher presented awards to qualified students. The Presentation of Graduates was given by Math teacher Sarah Arends and Science teacher Robin Dombeck.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Wegley, Principal Sam Kurtz, Assistant Principal Betty Holzkopf, Board of Education members President Nancy Artz, Mrs. Zivit Blonder, Mr. Ammar Rizki, Dr. Stephanie Yohannan, Mr. Daniel Levin, and Vice President Mr. Jeff Zuercher, all participated in the Presentation of Diplomas to the students and fist-bumped each student as they walked across the stage.
In conclusion, the band and orchestra, led by Sam Pilnick and Renee Yoo, played the "Triumphal March" from "Aida"...G Verdi.
The Maple School Class of 2022 program cover was designed by Katie Lee.