April 23, 2014

Culmination Ceremony at Topanga Elementary

 

Topanga Elementary’s fifth- and sixth-grade students culminated their elementary school education on June 10 with a ceremony and words of wisdom and encouragement from Principal Nicole Sheard. Following are excerpts from her heartfelt speech:

Our fifth- and sixth-grade students have experienced so much this year, from being our guinea pigs for TEMPO (stamina training program), Colonial & Ancient Greek Days, Science Day, a trip to Catalina and so much more.

All of those memorable activities would not have happened without the tremendous efforts of the awesome parents of these young ladies and gentlemen. For many of our families, this is your final year at Topanga Elementary and we will miss you as your child and family move to new schools and areas.

When I started here at Topanga Elementary School, you were all in kindergarten, and here you are today, preparing to venture into a new chapter in your lives.

In the next few years, you will most likely have to deal with some conflict —your desire to be special and different will clash with your need to belong and fit in. So as you journey into middle school, be mindful of the character values that you practiced in elementary school.

1. First and foremost, be yourself. Express yourself authentically. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Remember that it’s more important to be respected than noticed. Respect who you are and realize that being who someone else wants you to be can be confusing when all you really want to be is “you.”

2. Hang out with the people who bring out the best in you, and be the kind of person who brings out the best in others.

3. Fill your life with laughter, but don’t confuse fun or pleasure with happiness.

4. Utilize your moral intelligence to make the right decisions to make the world a better place. You all possess this gift inside of you and I challenge you to keep on giving.

5. Continue to learn all you can. Your amazing brain will continue to stretch and grow like a muscle as you continue learning. It was made to seek knowledge.

I appreciate how well the fifth and sixth graders represented our school in such a positive light each day and for the impact you have made and will continue to make to benefit others.

I’ve loved watching you grow, not just academically, but into incredible young ladies and gentlemen. You are truly a unique, talented, caring (and I have to throw in, sometimes goofy) class. Your developed character will take you into any walk of life that you choose.

And now the journey is yours. We, at Topanga Elementary, take pride in having been a part of helping you learn, live and grow, and we are eager to see what the future brings for you.

I leave you with a short poem titled “Always Be A Student:”

Please keep on learning,

Though your graduation's done;

Your whole life's an education

And it has only just begun.

Congratulations to each and every one of you. It has been my pleasure, to be witness to it for the past six years. Our work here is done and I am confident that you are well prepared for the journey of middle school and beyond.