As grandmother to Ryan-Henry Johnson, RJ to family and friends, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the 8th Grade Bridging ceremony at North Middle School. The evening was filled with good music, heartfelt reflections on the qualities and caliber of the graduating students, and finally, the diplomas.
As is the norm, Principal Mary O’Brien requested the public withhold their applause until each student had received their diploma. And as is the norm, applause and shout-outs erupted from friends and family for their own. As the names moved from the A’s into the D’s, I realized each student was receiving applause and a shout-out and not from only family members. The students themselves were honoring each member of the 2014 class with recognition. I cringed as I thought that there is no way they can do this through the Z’s — there are 200 graduates! But that is exactly what they did! Not one of their fellow students walked across that stage without applause and a shout-out! Talk about respect, empathy and camaraderie! I was moved to tears.
Congratulations to all who have influenced this incredible group of young people! Job well done and as Principal O’Brien said in closing, “Go North!”