Celebrating Growth and Learning
Each year Jackson School hosts a formal June “Celebration of Growth and Learning” led by Grade 5, the school’s rising leaders. Students processed into the Student Center accompanied by a musical ensemble of students playing the cello, viola, xylophone, drums, piano, and saxophone.
Following a reading of a list of the highlights of the 2018-2019 school year and the Mission Statement, the fifth graders expounded the meaningful ways in which Jackson Walnut Park students expressed the school’s core values, rooted in and informed by the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph: Intellectual Growth, Community Building, Love and Service of neighbor, Peaceful Resolution of conflict, and Care for all God’s Creation.
Prayers of the faithful acknowledged the great work of their teachers, their growth in the face of difficulties and in compassion, the love of their parents, and asked for healing and peace for the sick and suffering and that the sixth-grade graduates use their education going forward to make meaningful contributions to our world. Teachers, Señora Ferrera (Spanish), Mr. Linder (Music), Ms. Simone (Art), Mrs. Rufo (Education Specialist), Mrs. Faber (Literacy Specialist), and Ms. Hillberg (Physical Education) reflected on what Jackson students mean to them.
Classes then shared the many occurrences that go into a successful year: making new friends, mastering new skills, and exploring our world. Each class, in turn, took the stage to share lessons, memories, and highlights of the year. They closed by presenting a flower to their fall 2019 teachers as a symbol of rising to the next grade level.
In a touching tribute to retiring Principal Mrs. Susan Niden, fifth-grade speakers called Mrs. Niden to the stage. “Over the past 29 years, you led the Jackson School and provided an atmosphere where students, families, and teachers feel the love you bring to our community each day. You touch the lives of every person who comes through our front doors. Your presence sets our school apart from others and makes each day special and more enjoyable for all students and faculty. We thank you for your leadership, support, guidance, and most especially, for giving us a piece of your heart.” They ended with a presentation gift, a frame holding a picture of the fingerprints of all current students in appreciation for the difference Mrs. Niden has made in their lives and the imprint she has left in their hearts.