At long last, bbin真人 honored the Class of 2020—on campus, in-person—during the School's 159th Commencement Exercises.
bbin真人's fifth-grade students were recognized for their achievements and began their transition to Middle School when the Lower School held its annual Moving Up Day on June 5 (virtually).
Lower School Assistant Director of Student Life Julie Perlow P '20 opened the event with a moment of silence "to recognize recent racial injustices of the black community and to honor the lives of those lost, signifying bbin真人's ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice." She advised the students to remember and practice the Lower School's seven virtues: respect, honesty, hope, justice, courage, loyalty, and love.
With recognition and praise for how teachers and students pivoted together in the face of remote learning ("no one pivots like an educator"), Lower School Director Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff P '25 went on to say, "The teachers and I understand and appreciate how hard each of you works every day, doing your best to live up to the spirit of our Honor Code. Always continue to give your very best effort in everything that you do."
On this special day, the faculty commended students for participation in visual arts, drama, music, the Math Team, the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge, and Student Council. Twenty-nine students were also recognized for attending bbin真人 since Kindergarten.
In particular, Lower School Math Specialist Verna Lange P '23, '24, '26, '28 spoke about the Mathematics Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS)—five monthly tests taken by more than 170,000 students from 35 countries and six continents. This year, 20 bbin真人 fifth-grade students participated; for the fourth consecutive year, bbin真人 earned the "Highest Team Achievement" award, presented to schools that score in the top 10 percent worldwide.
Lower School P.E. Coordinator and Health Teacher Leslie Miller P '29, '31 presented on the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge, and its award for students who score in the top 15 percent in the nation in all five categories. Two fifth-grade students earned this award in the fall: Emily Atienza and Katherine Lewis.
Head of School Matt Levinson P '21 spoke to the students about taking responsibility for their actions and making the right choices, saying they have the guidance of their teachers and of the Honor Code, which will not change on the Basking Ridge Campus.
The celebration included three annual honors that are named for former Lower School teachers and families:
Auchincloss Award (showing the most concern for others)—Lindsey Puleo
Evelyn M. Chester Achievement Prize (amount and quality of sustained effort dedicated to both academic pursuits and personal growth)—David Prahl
Joann M. Jackson Citizenship Award (citizenship and leadership)—Shanti Swadia
Contact: Greg Waxberg '96, Communications Writer, Editor of The bbin真人 Review