Eighth Graders Become Upper School Freshmen

The Class of 2023 officially became Upper School students during an Eighth Grade Graduation ceremony held on June 7 at Dyker Beach Golf Course. Following tradition, Lower and Middle School teachers made brief comments about each student before presenting the eighth graders to Head of School Dr. Charles Fasano to receive a Middle School diploma.

During his opening remarks, Dr. Fasano spoke about how the graduation ceremony reflects the school's culture.

“How we choose to celebrate graduation is a reflection of what we value," he said. "As a school, of course we value hard work and achievement. But we also choose to value other qualities like kindness and compassion. We choose to value students who make a unique contribution, that few others can give. We choose to value people with good character who are also strong community members. Today we will celebrate these qualities in these graduates."

He also took a moment to thank the school’s faculty, staff and directors, saying, “I am so blessed to have this team working hard with me every day to advance our school.”

Middle School Director Dr. Julie Mayring referred to one her favorite authors, Brene Brown, when addressing the students. Brown, who researches the areas of vulnerability and courage reminds her readers that you can’t be brave without being vulnerable. As Dr. Mayring explained, “it is only when you are uncertain about how something will go and it means a lot to you, that you are given the opportunity to be courageous.”

She encouraged the Middle School graduates to take advantage of these moments of vulnerability, saying, “it is okay to be vulnerable, use it as an opportunity to show courage.”

This year's student speakers included Sofia Awikeh, Esther Itkowitz, Alan Mandalaoui and Odrhan Thomas.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2019 Eighth Grade Graduation

Developing the whole student since 1998, Bay Ridge Prep is an independent, K-12 college preparatory school offering a strong academic program in a student-centered community that values the unique talents and learning styles of each person.