A heartwarming graduation ceremony for Hebrew Academy of Tidewater’s Class of 2018 took place on Tuesday, June 5. Almost all of the graduating class had attended the school since they were toddlers, so it was a bittersweet finale to their wonderful years at HAT. The close-knit group of students developed tight friendships, excellent academic skills, and strong Jewish values during their time at the school.
Next fall, these graduates will attend a variety of middle school programs including Academy for Discovery at Lakewood, Cape Henry Collegiate, Kempsville Middle School, Lynnhaven Middle School, Norfolk Academy, Norfolk Collegiate, and the Plaza International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program.
In her speech to the graduates, Heather Moore, head of school, highlighted the school’s four core values and charged the students with using them as a guide to their continued success in middle school and beyond.
“You have worked hard and accomplished so much in elementary school and together we have created a strong foundation for what is yet to come,” Moore said. “Before you go, I want to leave you with the following challenge: Take the four core values of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater with you to your new school and throughout your educational journey.
Torah Lishmah—The Love of Learning—Continue to study hard— Everything won’t always come easily and it shouldn’t. Work hard, ask for help, keep trying, and persevere. Sometimes the hardest things in life are the things most worth doing.
Kehillah—Community—get involved—Build a new kehillah within your new middle school. Find activities, clubs, or sports to join that you are interested in and get involved. Don’t worry about whether your friends are interested in the same activities. You will meet new friends who share the same interests. And make sure to continue to be a part to your HAT Kehillah by joining our alumni group.
Tikkun Olam—Repairing the world—Continue to serve within your school community, your synagogue, and the greater community as it is our responsibility to work toward the improvement of society.
Kavod—Respect—Be courteous and respectful towards adults, your peers, towards yourself. Good manners and a respectful attitude will go a long way in life.”
In addition to graduation, David Leon was installed as the new president of the board of trustees. Leon has served on the HAT board for nine years and has been a HAT parent for 10 years. With back to back graduations of his older daughter Isabella last year and younger daughter Emily graduating this year, Leon says he is excited to continue on at HAT and see the school thrive.
In his installation speech, Leon explained why all families should consider if HAT is the right fit for their child: “HAT kids move onto the best middle schools in the area and on to top ranked national universities when they graduate high school. But besides the amazing education our students receive, what really makes this school special is that for the few short years while they’re here, they develop and build on their Jewish identity that will last a lifetime. That is hard to replicate at any other public or private school in town. This really is the huge difference that HAT makes and one of the primary benefits of attending a Jewish day school.”
For information or to schedule a tour of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, contact Carin Simon, admissions director: 757-424-4327 or email@example.com.
– Carin Simon