|Katherine DeBry speaks about knowledge.|
San Rafael Junior High held its graduation program for ninth graders on May 25. The students were introduced individually and given a certificate of completion for junior high. Katherine DeBry, ninth grade class president welcomed parents, friends and teachers to the ceremony. DeBry was also the first speaker for the students maintaining a 4.0 grade point average throughout junior high.
She began by telling a story of a class of students who were given the assignment to list the wonders of the world. Some students listed the Great Wall of China, the Grand Canyon, the pyramids, and others. One girl couldn't decide which wonders to list. She listed to see, to hear, to laugh and to love. DeBry said as junior high students they have had the opportunity to see many things. They have performed acts of service, like when they raised money to help a staff member who had a sick husband. One teacher wouldn't participate in spirit week and he had to wear a swimsuit top in class. The class has had many achievements with their music in band and chorus. DeBry said, "To touch is not just physical. We have been touched by teachers who've helped teach students. To taste is not just limited to food. We have gained a taste of knowledge. We have taken a lot of classes, some pretty fun and some not so fun. This taste of knowledge helps us to find our strengths. We have learned to laugh. We have laughed so much." She said they have also learned to feel. They dress funny, smell funny and have done stupid things in junior high. They have learned how to get along with people. They have done well and learned about hope.
"Love comes in many forms, there is a Beatles song called, 'All you need is love,'" said DeBry. The students in the story learned that it's not about physical features and things.
Life is not handed to you on a silver platter, it must be worked for. It is not a matter of chance to achieve, reflected DeBry.
Seth Baantjer played a solo called, "Sapphire."
BreAnn Russell, honor student, spoke about the extracurricular activities she'd been involved with in junior high. Sometimes knowing she had to get to cheer practice was the only thing to get her up and going in the mornings. Sports and activities help motivate students to get good grades. A lot of extracurricular activities involve service projects. The class raised money for the angel tree program. "There is no I in team," said Russell, "Teams work together, how sad it would be without sports and extracurricular activities. Activities help us in our physical and mental development."
Jordan Sanders, honor student, played a song called, "This Ruined Puzzle," on his guitar.
Janelle Urie, honor student, told the audience that students need to be concerned with getting good grades for yourself. "Push yourself, try harder, break down the mental barriers which keep you from achieving. I was going to take an art class and I had already convinced myself that I couldn't draw. But, I tried it and I liked it. I was good at it. Push yourself farther and respect yourself." Urie said this was her first year at San Rafael Junior High and she said that education is not the same everywhere. She came from a school with more than 1,000 students and 40-50 kids in each class. The teachers didn't know the names of all the students, they tried but it was impossible. "Here at this school, the teachers know me. The principal knows my name and it's not because I was in trouble. It's great to live in a place where the teachers care for you," said Urie.
Carol Ann Snow sang, "Weep you no more sad fountains." She was the outstanding female vocalist at the region solo and ensemble festival.
Principal Garth Johnson awarded the honor students with pins, certificates and cash awards.
"We make choices, but we cannot choose the consequences of our actions. We reap what we sow. We need to choose to do our best. We all say at one point or another in our lives, that we wish we would have chosen differently, 'I wish I would have made a better decision.' Choices have an impact on our future. Sometimes we give up what we need most for what's convenient. Think about who you want to become and make decisions to move you towards that person. You have the power to make decisions for a great future," said Johnson.
Students and parents gathered for refreshments and then a dance was held for the junior high students.