News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 19, 2014
Bay School 2014 graduates bid farewell

Bay School graduates the Class of 2104

Bay School 2014 graduates and teacher Scott Springer—front row, from left, Molly Brown, Hannah Hutchinson, Maira Vandiver, Scott Springer, Apple Lieser and Iris Benson-Sulzer; back row, from left, Zeya Lorio, Alec Witham, Sean Thompson, Walter Lange and Fiona Tucker. Graduation was held on June 11 in Blue Hill, Maine.

Photo courtesy of Susan Adam

by Tevlin Schuetz

Members of the eighth grade class of the Bay School received their diplomas, becoming proud graduates before a large audience Wednesday night, June 11, in a very warm Emlen Hall.

Director Khalif Williams welcomed the graduates’ families and friends of the school—and joked about the possibility of a falsely triggered fire alarm occurring—before reading a poem incorporating the names of the 10 students being celebrated.

Two departing teachers and a trustee were also honored in the ceremony. Alex McGregor, foreign language teacher, will be relocating to a Waldorf school in California. Agricultural arts teacher Jasmine Smith will be starting her own school on Mount Desert Island. Marianne Vandiver, who is stepping down after having completed her term as board of trustees chairman, was also thanked for her service to the Bay School.

It was an evening filled with emotion for the departing students, their families and Bay School staff alike. Graduates spoke about their most meaningful experiences at the school and their first impressions of fellow students who would become fast friends.

And those friendships have endured. Eighth grader Iris Benson-Sulzer remarked that an “accurate adjective” to describe a class is “tribe.”

The graduates employed humorous anecdotes, introspective comments and literary references to express warm appreciation for the Bay School, its faculty and fellow students. Their excitement about the future was tempered somewhat by sadness upon leaving the institution—a place they call “home”—where many have spent their entire elementary school careers and where a sense of family prevails.

Upper grades teacher and faculty chairman Scott Springer urged the students to be themselves and to rise with confidence to meet and overcome life’s challenges with positive attitudes. “Be prepared to fail,” Springer acknowledged, “[but] enjoy it!”

Different groups of students sang throughout the evening, and for a few songs, the whole student body performed together.