School is Out!
by Jody Steele
The Academy at Ocean Reef just completed the 2020-2021 school year with three separate Closing Ceremonies earlier this month.
Jerome Murphy, Head of School, remarked that after 171 school days, it was appropriate to reflect and celebrate all of the accomplishments of the students, the staff, and the parents during a most challenging and unusual time. He shared his deep appreciation for the school community and their patience, understanding, and heartfelt trust. Working together as a team, The Academy was able to successfully deliver an in-person educational program for most of the year with dedicated perseverance. As Mr. Murphy referenced during Closing Ceremonies, “Our staff’s commitment to the care and development of their children transcended the risks and sacrifices associated with the 2020-2021 school year.”
Concentrating on the joy of learning at the June festivities, The Academy Administration and Staff marveled at the newfound independence of the Toddler group, the development of basic skills in the Pre K 3 and Pre K 4 year classrooms, and the foundation of academics mastered in the Kindergarten and First Grade. Special reference to the camaraderie and building of character traits in the Second and Third Grade classrooms along with books written and published by these same students was also honored.
The students in Fourth Grade and through Middle School celebrated their time capsules they created, virtual field trips to such sites as the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, socially distanced science labs, multi-media social studies projects, debates, and Socratic seminars. A full and challenging curriculum was presented by creative teachers to an array of eager learners in all of these grade levels and the students embraced the challenge.
In addition to hearty congratulations to all Academy students for a “job well done”, four traditional awards were presented as follows:
The Jill Brown Award is given to a student that embodies the essence of the Academy’s Mission by demonstrating honesty, good citizenship, and respect to all.
Presented to Bella Herz – Sixth Grader.
The Dr. Why Award named after Jim Leenhouts is given to a student that shows curiosity and interest in why or how come?
Presented to Jack Massey – Fifth Grader.
The Scholar Athlete Award is given to a student that achieves academic and athletic success along with demonstrating good sportsmanship.
Presented to Jake Davis – Seventh Grader.
The Perseverance Award is given to the student who demonstrates initiative, perseverance, and the ability to overcome significant obstacles in attaining his/her goals. This student often will improve the life of others by simply being there.
Presented to Jonathan Gabriel – First Grader.
So after a year of delivering homemade chocolate chip cookies every Monday, 2,880 total to be exact—courtesy of Head of School Jerome Murphy, The Academy school year comes to a close with resilience and commitment never imagined. Truly a reason to celebrate!
Featured above: Breanna Abreu (Gr 6), Ciana Jiminez (Gr 6), Isabella Vazquez (Gr 7), Valerie Gabriel (Gr 5), Vanessa Gabriel (Gr 7), Caroline Johnson (Gr 7).