The Hun Middle School graduated 49 eighth graders in sunshine on the lawn behind Russell Hall on June 6th.
The eighth graders processed onto the lawn led by Hun Performing Arts Department Chair Deborah Watts on bagpipe. The Middle School Harmony Group opened the ceremony with a Quaker hymn called How Can I Keep from Singing.
“You have developed exactly the skills, values, and personal qualities that you will need in order to succeed in high school and in life,” Hun Headmaster Jonathan Brougham told the soon-to-be high schoolers. “Be excited about your new beginning next year, and always know we are proud of you.” Forty-eight of the graduates will continue into the Hun Upper School Class of 2022 in the fall.
Student speaker Eshar Hans ’22 spoke with a light touch to the audience of students, teachers, parents, and friends.
“Eighth graders, we made it!” he told the class, noting the many academic challenges they had conquered. He urged his classmates to try new things in Upper School, noting his surprising new love of acting, which his parents persuaded him to try.
“It was my green eggs and ham moment. Until I tried it, I did not know how much I liked it,” he said of the benefits of taking risks. He also thanked family members in the audience “for putting up with us.”
After Upper School Head Ryan Hews welcomed the graduating class to high school, Head of Middle School Ken Weinstein closed the ceremony talking about purposeful attention. He urged the students to improve their focus, peace, and quality of life by practicing mindfulness. Akin to brief periods of meditation, mindfulness entails thinking and being in the moment, instead of constantly reflecting on the past (or your Snapchat) or planning for the future.
“A mindful brain is the opposite of a stressed, overwhelmed brain,” he noted. “Attention increases after just a few weeks of mindfulness training, and, just like you train your arms when you do push-ups, the more you train your brain to be mindful, the better you will be able to concentrate.”
Luke Siletti and Olivia D’Aulerio
The Roberta King Award
Academic prizes for excellence in subject areas included: Kirsten Mauer, English; Rowland Lawver and Daniel Brugger, math; John Raics, science; Daniel Vessey, geography; Ashley Jones,Spanish; Harry Carter, French; Aaron Spektor, Latin; Alexander Juan, performing arts; and Caroline Langford, visual arts.