“Believe in Yourself,” beautifully sung by one of The Barry Robinson Center’s residents, struck the right note of encouragement and hope in a ceremony marking the end of the 2017-18 academic year. The signature event on Friday, June 8, was a celebration of success for more than 60 children and teens.
Rob McCartney, the Center’s CEO, welcomed residents, family members and staff. He talked about the difference between intelligence and wisdom, using the example of a tomato. Residents correctly identified a tomato as a fruit, which he said is intelligence. Wisdom, however, means knowing you don’t put a tomato in a fruit salad, he shared, to laughter from the audience.
“Our residents are learning to be wise and to think. Today, we’re celebrating them for the wisdom they’re starting to develop,” he said.
Individual Student Recognition
Cindy Mills, director of education, presided over the students’ recognition.
“We’re all here in one place at one time, where it’s very exciting to celebrate the end of the school year,” said Mills. “Everyone has had a difference experience this year. Some had success, and others had some ups and downs, but we’re done and we’re looking forward to our summer enrichment program.”
Teachers passed out certificates as Mills announced each resident’s recognition, beginning with elementary grades. Children and teens recognized as “Most Likely to Succeed,” “Best All Around” and “Good Citizen” shared the spotlight with those recognized for other positive attributes like these:
- Ray of Sunshine
- Best Classroom Helper
- Most Imaginative
- Most Thoughtful
- Most Insightful
- Most Persistent
- Most Kind
Mills also noted residents’ participation in other activities, including the Center’s guitar ensemble and Voices of Pride choir. Some of those young musicians and singers, under the direction of music specialist Stephanie King, performed during the celebration.
King said she took a fresh approach to this year’s performance, which resulted in gathering residents from all grade levels for a rendition of “Ode to Joy,” that included guitars, piano, saxophone and kazoos.
Other Ceremony Elements
Other participants included members of the Center’s Boy Scout troop, who presented the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Sister Emily, the Center’s spiritual counselor, offered a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving for the year of “nurture and growth.”
The ceremony’s final note was a surprise presentation of flowers to Mills and Julie Carey, assistant education director, for leading the school so well.
“We couldn’t do what we do without all of you,” Carey said. “It’s a real team effort, with all of the staff across campus, the kids and the parents.”
Learn more about The Barry Robinson Center’s Education Program.