Eagle Hill School Community Celebrates the Class of 2021
On May 22, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., the Eagle Hill School community held commencement exercises to celebrate the class of 2021. While the traditional graduation events were modified to comply with the state’s COVID-19 guidelines, the warmth, spirit, and excitement of the weekend remained unchanged.
Saturday’s ceremony began with the traditional “ringing of the bell,” in which each graduating senior rings the bell at the back of the Main House, marking the end of their academic journey at Eagle Hill School. The bell is rung in September by our new students and remains silent throughout the year until graduation day.
Graduating seniors then processed through a passageway of applauding faculty to the outdoor ceremony set up under a white tent on the Quad. There they were greeted and cheered on by their families and close friends. At the same time, many more live-streamed the ceremony from their homes joining us from across the globe.
The event began with opening remarks from Head of School Dr. PJ McDonald, who highlighted the resilience and strength of both the class of 2021 and the Eagle Hill faculty for successfully navigating learning and teaching throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. McDonald then delivered his signature “Ode to the Class” graduation poem highlighting each of our seniors. As usual, the poem was met with laugher and cheers.
Elizabeth “Liza” O’Brien delivered the senior class address reflecting on her short yet meaningful time at Eagle Hill. Liza thanked her classmates and teachers for their care and sincerity in welcoming her to the EHS family making her quickly feel at home. She also extended her gratitude to the faculty for helping her to develop confidence and advocacy skills. She encouraged her fellow seniors to extend their gratitude to those who assisted in their journeys and trust the skills that brought them to this day would carry them through their next steps. Outstanding in both delivery and content, the address was met with a resounding standing ovation. Watch Liza’s speech in its entirety below.
Liza was followed by this year’s faculty speaker, Mr. Jim Haupt. Mr. Haupt, Eagle Hill’s makerspace coordinator, was selected by a vote of the senior class, and he did not disappoint. He gave a powerful recollection of his experience as a student and young adult with ADHD, including his trials and tribulations in finding the path to where he happily is today. Haupt spoke about the innovation and creativity that he proudly sees every day from Eagle Hill students and credited them for making his job so much fun. Watch Jim’s speech in its entirety below.
The highlight of the day was the presentation of diplomas to the Class of 2021! A culmination of years of hard work and perseverance, especially during this past academic year. We are so proud of every one of our seniors. We will greatly miss them and are confident they will have continued success.
Congratulation to the Eagle Hill School Class of 2021!