Bristow Run Elementary School held its Fifth Grade Recognition Ceremony on June 14 at 5 p.m. in a packed auditorium, where parents tried to get the perfect photo of their fifth grade children.
The Recognition Ceremony is an opportunity for to recognize the “graduating” fifth grade class. Next year students will leave the elementary experience behind and most will attend Marsteller Middle School.
As Prince William Schools prefers to leave the traditional graduation ceremony to high schools, students did not wear caps and gown. However they did dress like ladies and gentlemen for the occasion, and they were invited on stage in front of their family and friends, like graduates.
Emphasizing the intimate nature of the elementary school experience, once students’ names were called, they stood besides the 25-28 other students who matriculated with them rather than the class of 2012 as a whole.
Principal Kim Werle recognized that the graduating class was special to her as it was the first class she has seen progress through the entire process of their elementary school
education. As such, she witnessed them grow from kindergarteners to fifth grade adolescents.
Sometimes she said, she still sees them as little children carrying backpacks almost bigger than their bodies.
Parents agreed that the ceremony is a reminder that their babies have grown up and would be entering a new stage in their lives as preteens or tweens, taking on new challenges in a middle school environment, and one day soon become full-fledged teenagers.
Shannon Joy, whose daughter was recognized with the fifth grade class, said the event reminds her that times moves quickly.
“Absolutely,” she said, “yesterday she was in kindergarten.”
Joy also said that Bristow Run is a great school, and as an established neighborhood school many of the children had been together since kindergarten.
Knowing the significance of the event, Bristow Run tried to mark the day with just the right amount of pomp and circumstance.
Before students were called onto the stage, Bristow Run elite choral performers, who had been selected for All County and All Virginia Chorus performed “Tomorrow Needs Us,” an inspirational song about the positive impact each individual can make in the world.
Students were also recognized at the ceremony for their achievements and contributions to the school community. For service recognition, patrols, reading buddies, flag helpers, robotics team members, student council representatives, chorus and string students, TV broadcasters and “Girls on the Run” team members were invited to stand.
An impressive majority of graduating fifth grade students was also recognized for having earned the Presidents Physical Fitness Award.
Moreover many Bristow Run recognized students for academic achievements, those earning the Presidential Award for Educational Excellence, Principals Honor Roll all year, Honor Roll all year and perfect attendance.
As students received recognition for their accomplishments, it was also bittersweet, because they were saying goodbye to the school many of them had attended since kindergarten, the only school they had ever known.
Teachers reminded them to come back and visit, and thus remain a part of the Bristow Run community.
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