The Hebrew Academy of Tidewater celebrates the many accomplishments of its students throughout the years. The school also supports them through important academic and social challenges and nurtures them as they grow and develop throughout their elementary years. One of HAT’s most favorite rites of passage is graduation. As always, this year’s commencement ceremony held on Wednesday, June 8, did not disappoint.
Proudly dressed in their caps and gowns—and ginormous smiles!—the candidates presented their parents with roses and then took their places on stage for the ceremony. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah, a D’var Torah and class speeches were presented, as well as a heartwarming video of the graduating class, followed by awards and other presentations. Head of School Heather Moore also offered some memorable parting words (excerpt):
“You have worked hard and accomplished much in your time here. You have learned to read and write, become proficient in math, learned how to think like scientists, and learned about physical fitness, art and music. You learned the principles of loving kindness, charity, and the ethical treatment of people and the earth around us, based upon the teachings of the Torah and Jewish history. You have also made new friends and learned from many wonderful teachers. Most importantly, you have worked hard to become knowledgeable as individuals and knowledgeable of your Jewish heritage— to be responsible and respectful people who are good citizens of your school and your community.”
Moore then imparted advice to further prepare them for middle school:
• 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.”
• Get involved. 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 you will have fun along the way.
• Be courteous and respectful towards adults, your peers and towards yourself. Good manners and a respectful attitude will go a long way in life.
Moore asked the students to stand, turn their tassels and proudly pronounced them graduates of the Hebrew Academy Class of 2016.
Dee Dee Becker