It is hard to believe that the school year is officially over. A few teachers are still organizing their rooms as Larry and Tom set to work on the summer clean, but compared to the hustle and bustle of a typical school day, it is quiet.
The end of a school year always brings a flood of emotions and this year is no exception. I hope your children shared news of the SPECTACULAR End-of-School Assembly we enjoyed together. We opened by paying tribute to our fifth graders. We watched a retrospective video of their time at Hunnewell, which brought about squeals of delight from their younger siblings and friends.
Next on stage were Roxanne Scott and Lisa Mortarelli who enticed our students to KEEP READING with our “Summer Reading” packet. Lisa Mortarelii collected photos of EVERYONE reading at Hunnewell and put it to a great soundtrack, which also excited the children, especially when a photograph of Mr. Pellegrini and other beloved members of the staff flashed across the screen. (A shameless plug…send photos of your children reading this summer to Roxanne!!!)
As we moved to the end of the assembly, it was time to pay tribute to people who have given so much to Hunnewell. We honored Lisa Humphrey, Sarah Williams, and Lori Janiuk who are leaving Hunnewell, thankfully not Wellesley, to share their expertise and love of teaching in other schools, Bates, Fiske and Schofield respectively. Unfortunately, Sarah Williams and Lisa Humphrey could not join us on Tuesday morning to hear the children cheering and clapping for all they have given to Hunnewell. To give you a picture of how much our beloved by the students, Lori Janiuk received a standing ovation from the staff and students in gratitude for her service to Hunnewell. We also had to say some difficult good-byes to two beloved teaching assistants, Ms. Heller and Ms Tyndall and to Kevin Vacaro and Catalina Palfreman, who were technically assigned to the TLC program, but supported every child at Hunnewell in classrooms, at lunch, and recess and anywhere in between.
We closed our assembly with a tribute to Toni Duval, who is retiring from WPS after 16 years of service. We were fortunate to have her end her career with our Hunnewell Family for the past six years. She has left an indelible mark on our community and we wanted her to know how much we love her. The teachers rewrote the lyrics to “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra and we sang it to her from the bottom of our hearts. (I have attached the lyrics). Katie Dexter then brought the house down with a video of Toni and the students put to music with the song, “I Was Here”. The students and staff sang the the song to Ms. Duval and I do not think there was a dry in the place. Finally, Mr Knapp presented Toni with hand-crafted gifts from the children and we presented her with a caricature. It was an incredible morning that showcased our CARE values and our commitment to one another and this school. It was hands-down, one of Hunnewell’s finest moments and I have never been more proud to be part of such a CARING Community.
Of course, the day concluded with the Clapping-Out Ceremony and the fifth grade teachers, students, and I agreed Toni needed to lead the parade. We all shared last minute hugs and cheers in the library before Toni led us down and around the halls for our final farewell to Toni and our amazing group of fifth graders! My emotions are still a little raw as I reflect on the magic of that day!
There is more to say about the irons we have in the fire for this summer and next year, but for tonight, I just want us all to bask in the successful and dynamic completion of the 2015-16 school year!