Honoring our Students at Graduation
At Mackintosh Academy, our graduation ceremony traditionally involves the entire school. PreK students escort the eighth grade graduates into the building to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance.” All students from each class perform a tribute in honor of the graduates. Teachers write and present poems for each of the eighth graders. Selected student from each class are recognized for their accomplishments with International Baccalaureate Learner Profile awards. Parents from the entire school watch on as the eighth graders honor their parents with flowers. And of course, one graduating student is selected to give the farewell address. This student is known as our “Mackalaureate,” and is selected by faculty and peers not only for their grades, but also for embodying the values and attributes of a Mackintosh graduate, including open-minded, principled, caring, thinking, and resilience.
A Different Kind of Graduation
This year’s Mackalaureate speaker, Grace Muench, was not able to address the entire school during graduation as she normally would have. Our drive-in ceremony looked a little different this year in the face of the coronavirus, featuring masked graduates and a limited audience of parents looking on from their cars. A Mack “lifer,” Grace has attended our school for ten years, and although she did not have her moment on stage, we would like to share her words here. We hope you enjoy Grace’s wit and wisdom, and her reflections on what it means to be a Mackintosh graduate.
You can also watch the video here.
The Mackalaureate Speech
“I hope you appreciate how challenging and scary these times are and you kept putting one foot in front of the other”- Joe Pausback (Mack MYP Teacher)
I’ve gone to school here for 10 years but really I have been at Mackintosh since birth, yet I never really thought about what I would say to a group of my best friends if I got the chance to say goodbye to and for them. I really didn’t want to think about it because Mackintosh is a second home and my second family and well actually one member of my first family. Even though my class may be leaving, Mackintosh has given us the tools to leave with confidence and the tools to learn so much more about ourselves and the universe(s) around us.
You don’t go to this school in agony of the drama you will endure that day, you go to school excited for the first laugh and the first smile. You’re in a community of teachers and friends who are able to spend real-time teaching and learning about what you do best and all the qualities that are good. They don’t point out your flaws but make you improve on them naturally. They teach you how to be a good friend. We may be leaving Mackintosh but we’ll never forget each other because we were each other’s rocks at some point. Working on math at school late, a teacher presenting your exhibition for you because you had a throat cold, or giving a gift to someone who had a bad day.
My community of best friends:
Hazel- a person who reads books when she wants and makes me an unstable unicorn
Henry- will spend hours putting up a 1000 little paper loops for someone to smile just to see them fall or even wants to move a 1000 pound rock just for the fun of learning how
David- the friend I’ve gone to school with for the longest, someone who puts his shirt on backward but doesn’t mind it because he has a mission to complete in the Blender software
Ember-Someone who I can count on knowing the answer and who can sing beautifully
Jacob- Someone who rolls with the punches but knows when to debate about what’s he knows and believes
A community of people who love the challenge of finding ways to fix the problem, or plain out spill green paint all over the problem and make sure that it gets cleaned up. This community has keen minds, compassionate hearts, and global thinkers. Mackintosh has given us a community where it’s ok to fail, grow, and change. We are taught to accept our own changes and the changes of others. We learned about ourselves to be able to go into the world knowing what we need to do for ourselves. What I think I learned most from these years that Mackintosh has given me is the ability to look at and solve a problem from multiple perspectives and to be able to communicate the solution efficiently. A solution like “oh why don’t we just do our play over a zoom call” is something I didn’t think was possible when we went into it. Mackintosh gave us the ability to use technology to have classes every day where we were able to actually absorb the information because, even in a world where you can’t physically be together in person, why can’t we still have the same experiences as we would in-person? Even when everything in these last months told us to stop, such as toilet paper being a form of currency and masks being a new fashion statement, we tested our odds and found ways to continue growing. Instead of giving up, we attended Zoom Academy, a place where even Shakespeare can flourish. Mackintosh gave us superpowers to soar even through a pixelated, glitchy screen.
Thank you for our superpowers that we will continue to grow. Thank you to our teachers who have spent hours catching us up, planning, teaching, and grading our work. You’ve taught us what we need to go into our new chapter not only with school smarts but with street smarts. Thank you for keeping our days at school interesting and fun. Thank you to our parents who’ve also spent hours making sure we’re learning and growing and hours by our side at our desks when we don’t understand or we are just tired. Thank you for understanding it’s ok to make mistakes sometimes. The parents who know we don’t mean to bring anxiety or stress to anyone and deal with us with calmness and love. Thank you to my classmates who have worked so hard just to get to this one pillar in their life. Thank you for supporting each other and making each other laugh. Sometimes over the years you get tired of people you’re with every day yet I’ve been with most of you every day for 10 years and I haven’t gotten tired of you all and I wish we had more time to make more memories.
And as I started with a quote I will end with one: “As long as you are trying to figure out you, y’all will be ok” -Mallory Remy (Mack MYP Teacher).