Graduation Speeches 2021

When it came to our usual events, 2020-21 was a unique school year that made us think outside of the box. Our graduation tradition was one of the many events we adjusted to make sure our community stayed safe and healthy. Please enjoy the graduation speeches that were presented by the Khalsa Montessori 8th graders. The final years shared their thoughts and memories with a small group of immediate families and 7th years.

Lilah Balliet

So I’m not gonna act at all like I know what to say, because I don’t, or like I know anything about life, but I do know that the influence of these past twelve years at Khalsa will stay with me for a good while. I’ve made friends, a few small rivalries here and there, but more important than that, I’ve made memories. Some good, some bad, some amazing, and some atrocious. But they’re all memories, and I think that’s what really matters here. So much of my life has taken place within the walls of these three school buildings, and I won’t soon forget it.

From what this school itself has taught me to what it’s led me to teach myself, it has all become a part of who I am, and who I will continue to be going forward. Some memories that I once saw as bad or embarrassing I can now look back at and laugh. (that situation with the pond, I mean you.) What’s really interesting to think about is how differently I would see those memories if I experienced them now. 

Even though they’ll never hear it from me, except for now that is, all of the friends I’ve made here are absolutely incredible. I’ve been called a mom-friend a few times, and I guess that works because watching them grow and learn along with me has made everything so much easier. The knowledge that we’re all learning and doing our best together, helping each other through things, has given me the sense that no matter what happened during these past 8 years, it was all going to be okay. We’ve laughed, cried, argued, even screamed our hearts out at the edge of lakes and we’ve done it all together. Of course, we haven’t agreed on everything, but that doesn’t really matter. I’ve learned so much just from being around them, and I wouldn’t trade the friends I’ve made here for the world. I love you all.

Now. You seventh graders. Having you in the class, doubling the student number from last year, has certainly been a journey. I will say that I was initially nervous for how everything would go. But in the past year, I’ve laughed, talked, zoned out, and done more with you guys than I ever would have expected. Even those of you I already knew I got to know so much better. I trust that with me and the other eighth graders gone, you all won’t let this whole middle school thing fall apart. It’s in your hands now, and it’s up to you to make it the best it can be. Make your next year the middle school you’ve always hoped for because believe me, I think you guys can do it. But more importantly, take care of each other. 

Are there entire years I would like to block out and forget? Admittedly, yes. Are there years I want to repeat over again, just to remember how I felt during those? Definitely. The balance that I’ve found is something I believe everyone should have in their lives. Whether good or bad, you learn from it. 

Before I started writing this speech, I had a bit of an internal dilemma of how emotional and, dare I say cheesy, I wanted to make this. I think it turned out a bit more emotional than I first expected, but that’s just how it goes, I guess.

In any case, thank you so much to everyone for everything. I won’t soon forget my time here at Khalsa.

Stephanie Warren

Hi, I’ve been attending Khalsa for 10 years now and I’ve definitely learned a lot. Throughout the years, I’ve learned tons about how important a challenge really is. I would love to thank Miss Carrie and Miss Lindsay for teaching me that and showing me how to adapt to my surroundings and I can get through any obstacle that comes my way. 

My first three years were definitely a huge learning curve for me and how I learned to make friends. I remember spending a lot of time with many different groups of people in lower elementary. I enjoyed most of my time playing silly games with friends from Primary.

 After those three years, I continued to enjoy working with those same friends and making amazing memories. Then Sixth grade came. This was the year we switched campuses and I had made new friends. I made good and bad memories with them and I’ll continue to cherish them. 

Seventh grade was incredibly rocky but I learned a bunch about myself and how to deal with issues. I also made a new friend. My classmates and I were all incredibly close and I learned a lot from them. Now I’m ending eighth grade and I have to say goodbye. 

I have a few more people I’d like to acknowledge. I would love to thank Miss Dawn for always helping me when I was not feeling well and Mr. Mike for sticking around as long as he could. Mr. Mike taught me that staying positive can fix any situation. I’d also like to acknowledge Mr. Mark for being a great gardening teacher.

Likewise, I’d like to thank my friends, some that are here and some that are not. I’d like to thank Anna for sticking with me through the last two years. Jillian, Devi, Harrison, and Ricky for always having the most interesting conversations. Becca for being the best mom friend ever.  Jose for always being willing to answer my questions, no matter how odd, and the rest of the class for staying positive and making this year great. My friends who’ve stuck around and those who haven’t, have taught me so much about myself.   

I don’t want to ramble on about how much I’m going to miss you guys and how much you’ve taught me but I really am going to miss you. I’m hoping to enjoy my years down the road and continue to learn and grow. Thank you. 

Harrison Red-Comunale

Hello, I am Harrison Red-Comunale and I have been honored to go to Khalsa since I was around the age of six, entering the school for my kindergarten years. I was placed in the primary third Street class and there I met one of my best friends. After that, we were placed in separate classes for first through third grades, which had made me sad at the time, but that just gave us the opportunity to make new friends.

 I was placed in Lower Elementary South which is where I learned to love learning. I was excited to know that we had many different choices in our research works. Researching topics was some of my favorite work then and still is. Doing research taught me that not only was school time for learning but that learning or going more into depth on certain subjects at home can also be fun, especially when there is nothing else to do. 

Once I was in Upper Elementary I was very excited to move forward and to look forward to new things. I had also learned that I was going to once again share a classroom with my friends from Primary. I had a lot of fun, along with some bad experiences in Upper Elementary, both of which have helped me grow into the person that I am now.

 Those years I had learned how to type, so I would be able to do my final year research. This was one of my favorite projects since entering the school. All of the sixth graders had to manage their time throughout the school year to write a ten minute long presentation on a topic that they had chosen. Since one of my favorite things to do then was to research, I had lots of fun with this project. I look forward to working on something similar in the future. 

Seventh grade was one of my favorite years in Khalsa. We had a very small class and we all mostly knew each other and got along well. The year began with everyone getting used to the new style of the class being less focused on using materials. I had adjusted to this well and I hope that this adjustment will help me with transitioning into a traditional high school.

Eighth grade was one of my other favorite years in this school. For the first half of the school year, I was online. Being online allowed me to have more of my own schedule, teaching me how to plan things for the week ahead of time. Throughout this year I have been mostly on top of my work because I had learned this prior skill. Once I had entered in-person schooling there were some issues that I had gotten caught up in but they were resolved very quickly and I had fun for the rest of the year. 

I am looking forward to high school and what more I will learn there. Thank you to all of my classmates and teachers, and goodbye Khalsa.

Devon Shivnani

I would say, “I remember my first day at Khalsa Montessori School,” but to be honest, I don’t remember it, as it was eleven years ago and my memory was still developing at that time. 

I don’t recall many memories from primary school, though joyously kicking a soccer ball around until it would inevitably go over the roof of ‘the Outback’, and getting chased by Becca Monster, and Lilah Monster never seemed to slip my mind. We also made delicious green shamrock cookies for St. Patrick’s Day, which to this day, are the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. 

Fast forward to my elementary years, where my entire personality revolved around soccer, and four square. Not much has changed. In 7th grade, there was an instance in which foursquare got banned, so my friends and I decided to take initiative to hopefully get it back. After creating a petition and presenting it to the teacher we had officially got four square unbanned.  

Though it might not seem like much, it represents the community that I’ve grown up in, and exemplifies one of the countless life lessons I’ve acquired in my 11 years of attending Khalsa. Lessons like: you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions in homework handout; or that it’s good to do your job right the first time instead of getting called out by the job checker and having to redo it; Or how to work together as a group for a week to acquire information about everything from cell structures to intercontinental ballistic missiles and present a lesson to the rest of the class.  (pause) AND how you should never start a sentence with “And”. (smile)

Along with knowledge, I’ve also acquired countless memories through these years. Just this year this class has accomplished many feats and opportunities to create a greater future for not just the class, but the world in general. We collaborated as a class to assemble a garden consisting of a labyrinth, pond, garden beds, and of course plants in the span of one week, with very little help from teachers and adults. We participated in the AMC 10, a math competition for advanced 10th graders, as a class of 7th and 8th graders. We raised over $5000 for children’s cancer by participating in the great cycle challenge. The list goes on and on but the point is that as a class we’ve accomplished so much this year, and every single student in this class has made a huge impact on my life. With all of this, I’m sure that we will have no trouble adapting to the future when it does eventually come. As Master Oogway from the film Kung Fu Panda once said “Quit… don’t quit. Noodles… Don’t noodles. You are too concerned with what was and what will be. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” I am greatly honored and thankful to have experienced this year, and to be graduating right here, right now, along with you amazing people. Thank you!

Jillian Shivnani

Waking up that early morning in August 11 years ago, I had no idea what my first day of school would be like. I had no idea about the memories I would make and the lifelong impact this new school would have on me. Of course, at that time I was too worried about being line leader and what we were having for snack to think about the future. As I walked through the gate of the primary campus past the water fountain, the sound of children laughing filled my ears. Watching them playing at recess made me worry about whether people would like me or want to be my friend. That worry quickly faded and I soon realized how welcoming and caring this community could really be.

I was welcomed with open arms of kindness and I quickly made wonderful friends, friends I would cherish for years to come. These friends have shaped the memories I have of Khalsa that will stick with me for the rest of my life. One of these amazing people I want to thank is Devi. Devi, you’ve been there for me through thick and thin and have been my best friend since kindergarten. Another wonderful friend I’ve known since then is Becca. Becca, you are one of my favorite people and we always have the best time together. Someone else that’s very special to me is Anna. Anna, although you are my most recent friend, I’m forever grateful for you coming into my life and will cherish our friendship forever. Alexis, you’re one of the sweetest, most caring people I know and I hope our friendship continues. Stephanie, you’re one of my longest lasting friendships and I’ll definitely miss our humor together. All of these amazing people have really impacted my life and I’m grateful for our phenomenal years together.

Khalsa has also given me all the valuable knowledge I possess today. It was taught to me by amazing teachers I’ve come to know. This knowledge isn’t just constructing math formulas and writing essays, it’s valuable life lessons I’ve learned throughout the years. Khalsa taught me to ask why? about things. It taught me that the process is just as important as the result. In our classroom asking questions and being curious about things was always encouraged. These life lessons helped form the mindset I have today and will continue to influence me for the rest of my life.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone whose name I didn’t mention; my other classmates, my teachers, and my parents for the unforgettable memories we’ve made at Khalsa and for helping me become the person I am today.