We have a saying at Crescent School: “It’s about the boys.” Each year, our closing ceremonies remind us that our work and mission as a school is to support the academic growth and character development of our boys. At Prize Day and Graduation, our boys take centre stage. They gather in front of their parents, teachers, relatives, and friends and are celebrated for their many accomplishments across our full Academic program, especially in Arts, Athletics, Robotics, Business, and Outreach. However, more importantly, they are praised for who they have become. It is arguably the most emotional time of the year.
One of the highlights from these closing ceremonies is the Valedictorian address, which is given by a student in the oldest grade in each of our Lower, Middle and Upper Schools. The speeches this year were especially impressive.
Our Grade 6 Valedictorian focused on the range of his Crescent education. “The diversity of experience… is another factor in what makes this school so special. I was surprised last year when we received our pendants when graduating Grade 5, to see quite how much we had all achieved and how varied our activities are. Whether it is sport, drama, music, science – the list goes on – we all get a chance to try new things and discover what it is we are passionate about.”
Our Grade 8 Valedictorian spoke about his journey of Middle School. “This Middle School journey is meant to prepare us for Upper School. That meant that we needed some guidance to get us ready. No matter how many times we made mistakes, our teachers were amazing at always being there for us. I feel that although we learn a lot in the classroom, our most meaningful lessons are the ones that teach us how to grow up, how to mature, and how to become, one day, a Man of Character, and we could not have done it without the support from our teachers and administrators.”
Finally, our Grade 12 Valedictorian highlighted his path to graduation. “Looking back now, I can see why this small gesture of inclusion was so significant. It demonstrated to me why Crescent is so much different from other places and schools. Above all, everyone in the Crescent community cares for one another - we truly are a ‘Brotherhood’ and I am forever grateful for this portion of the Brotherhood for choosing to let that little shy kid in Grade 3 have his chance to feel welcomed in this school for 10 years.”
Clearly, the themes of diversity of experience, the journey of self-discovery, and road to character were on the minds and hearts of our boys last week.
Crescent School remains proudly a school for boys. Our existence is neither accidental nor apologetic. Our belief in boys is cast deeply within our mission and forged in the relational environment through which our daily academic program is delivered. As a Headmaster, it is often easier to speak about what I know to be true about boys’ education but it is far more impactful when I hear our boys describe their lived experience at school. More than speaking last week, I was listening (carefully). And I was very proud of what I heard. After all, it’s about the boys.