After reading all the comments regarding the OPRF High School graduation, we felt compelled to write and share our experience of attending the Julian Middle School graduation of our granddaughter, Julia Meister, on June 3 in the high school's auditorium. We were truly impressed by the ceremony, the achievements of the students and the presentations by the students.
All were welcomed by a young man, Hasani Cannon, reciting his original poem. Too bad it was not printed in the program for all to re-read and savor later. Grace Evans, an eighth-grade graduate, was delightful, poised and humorous as master of ceremonies. The essay by Grace Ciacciarelli, "Delighting in Difference," was outstanding in pointing out the value of diversity in our school system and our society. Graduate Ms. Kealoha Ogunseitan summarized her personal experiences and shared her guidelines for "working toward excellence." A voice of experience, she is one of the 307 graduates with a 3.625 or above GPA. Thirty-five students listed a 4.0 GPA for the entire school year!
Graham Wielgos spoke eloquently of the "Gift of Service Learning" and the importance of "giving back" to our community and service to others. Principal Todd Fitzgerald later emphasized that Julian prides itself in encouraging volunteering and the importance of service learning. Anna Testore spoke creatively of "Looking to the Future."
The seventh-grade band welcomed the graduates with a processional and recessional in style. What is noteworthy is they truly seemed honored to be on stage and part of the celebration.
No controversy, but a beautiful evening of family celebration and pride in all of our children. It truly takes a village to raise a child. From what we witnessed on June 3, the village of Oak Park should be very proud of what it has done.
Dick and Joan Meister
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