Archive » July 6, 2006
By Joanne A. Calitri
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL MONTECITO GRADUATES
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The East Valley Road Catholic school’s eighth grade graduation was held on June 9 at 6 pm, at the church. Father Maurice O'Mahony officiated the mass and ceremony for the graduates. “We are very proud of all of our graduates and give credit to the school, parish, and community who have helped build the strong foundation that will guide our students the rest of their lives,” O’Mahony said.
The graduates participated in the mass, reading various scripture selections and singing the class song, “In My Life,” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
The graduation also capped the first year at the helm for Principal Karen Regan. The ceremony had added emphasis, Regan says, because the graduating class included the same students she taught when she joined the school three years ago.
Among the graduates was student council president Kristen Cummings, who blushed with excitement and happiness during the event, said she won’t take any individual credit for student council accomplishments during her presidency. “It was everyone, not just myself,” she said.
During Cummings’s time, the council raised money to sponsor a wild cat at the Santa Barbara Zoo, planned a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon and held other events. Cummings admitted that while she was excited to graduate, she was “scared to leave behind all her friends from the past nine years.”
Eighth grade teacher Mary Beth Lee sympathized with Cumming’s sentiments. “The students love learning and always produced high quality work, they love God and are spiritual,” she said. “They really love each other; all twenty-three graduates are friends.”
Following the ceremonies, students, parents, faculty and guests attended a reception given by seventh grade parents in the parish hall.
The 23 graduates are:
Michelle Ariel Carter
Kristen Nicole Cummings
Jessica Caroline Ditmore
Angelica Marie Duran
Alyssa Mae Gregory
Andria Leigh Kester
Amanda Maria Leonard
Raymond Gregory Nowak
Rodney James Osborn
Julia Ann Rios
Alexandre John Robitaille
Max Garrity Russer
Ellen Taylor Self
Dalise Marika Spence
Amanda Elizabeth Wells
Laguna Blanca Lower School
On June 12, from 9 am to 10:30 am, the school held its closing ceremony for grades kindergarten through fourth. Headmaster Doug Jessup, welcomed students, parents and guests as he summed up the moment and its significance.
“The Lower School closing ceremony is always a joyful and uplifting time because it represents the culmination of another rich and rewarding school year,” Jessup said, “and the immense gratification that comes with the steady deepening of important relationships, the seeing through to satisfying completion of so many projects, assignments and initiatives, and ultimately over the past nine months, the tremendous growth we have witnessed in these precious youngsters before us today.”
Also present were chairman of the school board Jim Jackson, head of school Susan Naretto and faculty with their instructional assistants.
Students received certificates and participated in the traditional passing of the keys. “The passing of the keys is a significant tradition of our Lower School as we entrust the upcoming class to continue to develop and practice the values of respect, honesty, responsibility, kindness and service as they become the leaders in their next grade,” Naretto said. “Our teachers and assistants have played key roles in instilling these values with our students as we continue to call one another to uphold them as they help us build community that is ripe for academic growth and personal and social development.”
Added fourth grade teacher Kim Valentine: “We teach the keys not just to be practiced in our presence here at school, but to be in your lives forever – even when no one is looking, even when understanding that the only reward is the feeling of knowing you did the right thing. These are the little things, these keys, that you know how to do so well.”
The students concluded the event with the song, “Follow Your Dreams”.
Fourth grade is the graduating class at Laguna Blanca Lower School. Valentine was aided by instructional assistant Alison Conway.
The Laguna Blanca Lower School graduates are:
Andrew Puzder, II
Lea Tran Le
Autumn van Diver
Montecito Union School
The school’s sixth grade graduation took place on June 15, at 9 am, in the school’s auditorium. Present were the graduates, fellow students, friends, parents, Superintendent Dick Douglas, Principal Kris Bergstrom, and sixth grade teachers Marilyn Bachman, Sue Carmody, Barbara Frombola and Carter Morgan.
“The Montecito Union School sixth grade students have accomplished a great deal during their tenure at MUS,” Douglas intoned. “Certainly, they have distinguished themselves in terms of their academic and physical accomplishments. In addition, their achievements in community service, their preparation and participation in special class field trips to Santa Cruz Island, Washington D.C., and Wolf Camp, and their outstanding performance in the sixth grade play, “Peter Pan,” are memories that will last a lifetime.”
The ceremonies included a slide show of the past six years at MUS, the Student Address by graduate Rivers Wahl, and the school song written by Kenny and Eva Loggins. Following the ceremony the grads attended a garden/pool party at the home of fellow graduate Avery Schwartz, in Montecito.
The 68 graduates are:
Cold Spring School
The sixth grade graduation took place on Thursday, June 15 at 10 am, in the auditorium. School superintendent and Principal Bryan McCabe led the proceedings, bolstered by sixth grade teachers Amanda Craig and Jean Gradias, along with specialty teachers Pam Herzog (music), and Pamela Kaganoff (art).
The ceremony included the annual slide show of the graduates’ past years at Cold Spring, the bestowing of awards, singing and commencement speeches by grads Justin Shand, Tessa Kaplan and Lina Kleinschmidt.
Absent for the first time from the ceremony was Coach Jason Oatis, whose son, Matthew, was graduating from Montecito Union the same day.
A reception for the grads and their families and friends immediately followed the ceremony and was held in the garden courtyard next to the Cold Spring auditorium. Another graduation party was held later that evening.
The 24 graduates are:
All comments are subject to review after submission. Please allow a slight delay before comments appear online!