Endings and Beginnings

Last weekend, for me, was one of those times in one’s life when you have an opportunity to participate in back-to back, highly meaningful family events – occasions that are quite emotional and mark important rites of passage for close family members. More specifically, on Saturday afternoon, I watched the youngest of my four children, Christian, graduate from twelfth grade at Hingham High School. The following morning – about 16 hours later – I attended the baptism of my fourth grandchild, Connor, at a church near Harvard Square. Two very contrasting events, for certain.

Over the next few days, as we continue to move through our traditional events honoring the eighth grade class and soon-to-be graduates (Athletic Appreciation Night, Upper School Dinner-Dance, Last Chapel and Derby Day Commencement), the notion of “endings” and “beginnings” is very much on my mind. Our eighth graders will be finishing their Derby careers – eleven of them as “lifers” after ten years with us – and taking the next step in their young adult lives by starting secondary school in September. Many will be sad to leave Derby, their friends, teachers, coaches and advisors – even if they have only attended the Academy since seventh grade. Some, on the other hand, will be forward-looking, reflective and outwardly a bit stoic, quietly excited – as they should be – to take the next step that entering ninth grade in a new school represents. Suffice it say, “Derby Day Week” brings a mixture of emotions for our eighth graders and their parents (not unlike what I was experiencing just last weekend as both a parent and grandparent). Grade 8 Parents: The good news is that one week removed from such major family events, I can tell you the dominant feeling/emotion is one of tremendous pride and celebration.

On the subject of Derby Day Week, the attached document (click here to view details on Derby Day Week) should give you all the essential information you need for June 8-11, particularly for arrival and dismissal times on those days. If you do have questions about any aspect of next week’s events, please do not hesitate to email me.

A Special Note to Eighth Grade Families: I want to spotlight several important details as we approach Last Chapel and Derby Day.

  • Last Chapel Luncheon – Although this luncheon is only for eighth graders and their parents, please remember that we provide arrangements for food and child care/supervision for younger sibling. Please contact Jami Gregory (jgregory@debryacademy.org) in our Advancement Office should you have questions about this.
  • Handicap access for family members: Please let me know (at jhoughton@derbyacademy.org) should you need handicap access for our Last Chapel ceremony (Larson Hall), the Last Chapel Luncheon (Lewis Dining Hall), the Derby Concert (McKelvey Gym), or Commencement (New North Church).
  • Grade 8 Class Photo at 8:20 am on June 11: We need to take this photograph at 8:20 am SHARP that morning, so parents, please make certain your eighth grader is at the McKelvey Gym at that time. Thank you.

Summer Tutoring Recommendations: Should you be interested in the names of Derby teachers who tutor in specific subject areas (e.g., math or writing) over the summer, please email Karen Malloy, our Director of Support Services, at kmalloy@derbyacademy.org.

Looking Ahead

Monday, June 8:
• 1:05 pm dismissal for Grades 4-8
• Upper School Final Exams (Gr. 7 Foreign Language; Gr. 8 Math, followed by Gr.  8 Foreign Language)

Tuesday, June 9:
• 1:05 pm dismissal for Grades 4-8
• Upper School Dinner-Dance, Lewis Dining Hall, 6:00-9:00 pm

Wednesday, June 10: Last Chapel, 10:30 am, Larson Hall

Thursday, June 11: Derby Day Concert (9:00 am. McKelvey Gym) and Commencement (11:00 am, New North Church)

Week of June 22: Final reports available on Derby website. (You will receive a pushpage from our Communications Office notifying you of this.)

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