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Empowering Unique Learners
Celebrating Achievements: High School and Eighth-Grade Graduations at Miriam
Katie Stalter

In this season of graduations, Miriam ushered 38 students off to new adventures – 21 seniors and 17 eighth-graders. All 38 have something exciting waiting for them in the next steps of their journey.

Each member of the Miriam High School Class of 2024 has a clear vision of what’s next, as eight will go on to a four-year college or university, four are enrolled in a certified transition program, four are headed to training or trade programs, three will attend a two-year college, and two will work through a supported employment program. The 17 eighth-graders will go in different directions for high school, all equipped with the academics, social skills, sensory solutions and confidence to take on new challenges.

And yet all of these students will forever share the bond that is Miriam. They will stay in touch with friends and teachers, and continue to use our support system. Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

As you embark on this new chapter, know that you take a piece of our hearts with you. Carry the love, support, and best wishes of everyone here as you move on to even greater things in life. And remember that you always have a home at Miriam High School.

Vicki Thurman, Principal of Miriam High School

High School Graduation - May 10, 2024

Miriam ushered 21 seniors off to the next step of their journey with a graduation ceremony that was just like the rest of their experiences here - completely personalized. 

And what a special night it was. One graduate led the Pledge of Allegiance, and two gave the Convocation. Four graduates bravely got up on stage to thank their classmates, teachers and family members for giving them this experience. Narhya gave a longer speech about her path from a quiet freshman to a friendly, talkative senior. 
 

Retiring teacher Lori Lipkind delivered a graduation address that was not only heartfelt, but completely centered on the seniors. Mrs. Lipkind called out each senior by name and told the audience what she learned from each of them. 

Teachers presented each graduate with a Character Award and a special gift - each as unique as the students themselves.

Principal Vicki Thurman told the graduates they would forever hold the distinction of being her first class at Miriam. She told the graduates, “As you embark on this new chapter, know that you take a piece of our hearts with you. Carry the love, support, and best wishes of everyone here as you move on to even greater things in life. And remember that you always have a home at Miriam High School.” 

Meg Bamford, head of Miriam, closed out the evening by reminding the graduates that their Miriam support system will always be here. “Seniors, you have tools, confidence and competence to push through new things and life challenges. You are not the same people who came into our school whether you were a freshman, sophomore or junior when you joined us. Remember, every single one of us is here for you. All you have to do is pick up the phone and we will remind you. You are so loved.”

And topping off the festivities, the school band The Pyros performed twice during the ceremony! 

Check out our full album of photos from the high school graduation here.


Eighth-Grade Graduation - May 17, 2024

Seventeen eighth-graders ended their time at Miriam Middle School with a fun graduation ceremony that included awards, keys to the school, an address from an alum and a musical number by our youngest students.

Adam Nazaruk, who spent seven years at Miriam before graduating eighth grade in 2016, gave the commencement address. Adam graduated from CBC High School in 2020. He reflected on his time at Miriam and gave advice to this year’s eighth-graders as they look ahead to high school. 

“Miriam provided me with more than just an education. It has given me a foundation of confidence, adaptability and a sense of community. These qualities will serve you well, as you navigate the larger, and more complex environment of high school.”

Meg Bamford told the eighth-graders: “The work in elementary and middle school might not have always been easy, but as we say at Miriam, practice makes progress. You have the power within you to help solve a problem, make someone’s day, or create something that will inspire people. Remember, you have the skills to help make the lives of others better.”

When the awards and certificates were in the graduates’ hands, Head of School Mary Cognata addressed her students: “Before we send you out into the world, I want you to know how proud your teachers, therapists and I are of each and every one of you. Through tears and laughter, hard lessons and harder conversations, fun times that were easy and fun events that sometimes felt really hard - you worked each day and never gave up.”

View our full album of photos from the 8th grade graduation here.

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