On Tuesday, Sept. 3, Kent Place School kicked off its 120th academic year. Cars and buses lined up to drop off more than 650 students hailing from 80 different communities across New Jersey.
The morning began with the traditional Opening Convocation, a ceremony where the entire school gathers together to ring in the new academic year, reflect on the school’s mission and honor the spirit of community. Each person received a single daisy, the school flower, as they joined together in the Field House.
Head of School Sue Bosland delivered opening remarks and shared her thoughts and hopes for the new school year. “We can all make a positive difference, in our own lives and in the lives of others. Just begin today, just choose to do so, and the rest becomes easy,” Bosland said.
Three students, one from each division, offered remarks and words of encouragement for their fellow classmates. First to speak was fifth grader, Aya Mtume of Orange, who described what she loved about each grade in the Primary School. “We should all be excited to see what our new teachers have in store for us this year. I know I am!”
The Middle School speaker was eighth grader Rose Chrin of Short Hills. “Enjoy yourself,” stated Chrin. “We should keep an open mind and focus on the positives rather than the negatives.”
The final student to deliver remarks was senior Denae Wilkins of West Orange. “I am going to be grateful that I am here in this place with some of the greatest people in the world. I wish you all a wonderful school year.”
Convocation is marked with a special candle lighting ceremony symbolizing the school’s maxim —With Wisdom She Lights the Way. Bosland lit the first of four candles, followed by the student representatives. A moment of silence, to give thought to the year ahead, followed the lighting of the candles. Everyone joined in singing the alma mater before returning to their classrooms and offices.
Later in the morning, student “lifers,” who have been at Kent Place for thirteen years or more, visited students in the Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes to present them with daisies and share thoughts about their early years as youngsters at Kent Place.
The 2013-2014 school year at Kent Place has officially begun.