By Rachel Goings
Quincy Learning Center:
Aerosmith’s “Dream On” echoed throughout the Plumas-Sierra Fairgrounds during a slideshow presentation concluding Plumas Charter School’s sixth-grade promotion ceremony on Wednesday.
Site Director, Patrick Joseph opened the ceremony welcoming guests and encouraged the students to look forward to the timeline of their education as they move on to middle and eventually high school.
Then, Joseph invited sixth-grade teacher Cindy Thackeray to join him onstage. “I want to take this opportunity to thank Cindy for her engagement, involvement and attention that she gives to each one of her students. She is a great guide and mentor to kids as they are developing skills they will need in the future,” he said.
“This is my fourth sixth-grade graduation with PCS,” began Thackeray as she introduced her 12 graduates. Alastair Olson, Ryder King, Carsyn Srouji, Colton Quade, Tristan Pullman, Sawyer Pullman, Skylar Ralston, Serafina Lozano, Zia Cressy, Olly Sweeney, Ozzy Steinbrenner and Dylan Miller all took a seat on old-town stage in front of their family, friends and teachers.
Teary-eyed, Thackeray thanked the families in attendance for letting her be a part of her student’s lives. She inspired her students to “choose well,” referencing the Mister Brown assembly they attended earlier in the spring. “The fact that you are here today tells me that you made good choices. You all have so many people in your life to help you keep making better choices,” she said.
Thackeray reflected on highlights from their year together and told them that she is excited to see what they accomplish as they move forward. She closed out her talk with life lessons from the ocean, an appropriate theme since sixth-grade is the year of the watershed project. “Be free, be bold, be yielding, be purposeful, be peaceful, be beautiful, be harmonious and be yourself. Even the smallest changes can make the biggest impact,” she concluded.
Each student was presented with a certificate and a “survival kit” of gifts. A special gift bag was given to Joseph who is stepping down as Site Director this year. The celebration spilled over to the lawn area with an ice cream social after the crowd heard Stephen Tyler belt “dream until your dreams come true” as the final group photo appeared onscreen.
Indian Valley Academy:
Indian Valley Academy’s sixth-grade graduation was a small affair, celebrating three students’ promotion. Teacher Shalyn Goss said that this year’s class is unique because they were moved to the middle school program a year earlier than usual.
Goss spoke to the graduates; Austin Martin, Lilliaine Borghi and Logan Hymas and their families about how this time period can be challenging. “Not only are students trying to navigate their educational setting, but they are also trying to navigate a new physical, psychological, emotional and social world,” she explained. She described Austin as quick-witted with the most infectious smile, and praised Lilliaine for her beautiful energy and ability to assimilate easily into a new routine since she joined IVA in March. She also described the contagious nature of Logan’s enthusiasm for learning and life.
Before presenting each student with a certificate and gift, Goss reminded families that the next few years are a unique time for them as they watch their child leave early childhood and jump headfirst into their teenage years. “It is a time when they want to play and enjoy the idea of childhood, at the same time transitioning into what may seem like a whole new person as they remake their identity,” she said.
The group ended the ceremony with a pizza party and cake to celebrate. The three graduates each had individual table set ups to enjoy their meal together with their families.
Plumas Charter School operates learning centers in Quincy, Taylorsville and Chester. To learn more, visit www.plumascharterschool.org.
Rachel Goings is the public relations specialist for Plumas Charter School