Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 20, 2013
Brooklin School promotes eight
Students see themselves in animals
The Brooklin School Class of 2013. Front row, from left: Allan van Reijsen, Graham Grant, Seeta John, Ingrid Peterson. Back row, from left: Derek McGraw, Walker Ellsworth, Mike Reiley and Jarrod Chase.
by Jessica Brophy
The Brooklin School promoted eight eighth-grade students on June 12 in a ceremony that included speeches from those students in which they each talked about the kind of animal they felt best represented them.
Teaching principal Halina Nawrot opened the event with a few remarks. “I cannot adequately express what it’s like to share this journey,” she said of the students, encouraging them to continue to grow and explore their world.
Each student spoke about his or her time at Brooklin School. Jarrod Chase said a Great Dane was a good representation of him, because “we are both gentle giants.” Chase said the Great Dane is a “unique breed, and so am I.”
Allan van Reijsen described himself as being like a hippopotamus. “I’m laid back like a hippo, and hippos keep to themselves and so do I,” said van Reijsen. “Hippos can be unpredictable in their behavior, and I’m unpredictable in my thinking.”
Derek McGraw thought the animal that best represented him was a bear—smart and clever, and pretty active despite the fact that they are large. Graham Grant described himself as a guinea pig—a lover of vegetables, very vocal and shy—at first.
Seeta John described herself as a wolf, someone who was “loyal…willing to help.” She said she saw herself as observant and questioning with a good memory. Ingrid Peterson said the animal that best described her was a snowy owl, someone with an independent spirit. “After all, an owl feeds on lemmings, it isn’t one,” she said.
Walker Ellsworth chose the rat as his representative animal. “I like a lot of things other people don’t,” he explained. “And a rat can adapt to their environment. Being different is OK,” he continued.
Mike Reiley rounded out the class by describing himself as an eagle. “I am circumspect, I try to see all sides of an argument,” he said.
Guest speaker Samantha Pickering, a Brooklin School teacher, talked about how she considered the class a “barrel of monkeys.” She discussed each of the graduates in turn, closing by talking about the “positive impact” of the eighth-graders.
“You will be greatly missed,” said Pickering.