The event commemorated the Class of 2026’s unique time in Middle School.
On Tuesday, June 14, eighth graders and their parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers and friends gathered on the Norton Campus field to celebrate their achievements and looked ahead to high school. The ceremony included two performances by the Middle School Jazz Collective: “Sudden Samba” by Neal Larsen and a rendition of “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith.
Head of School Bob Riddle commended the class on their resilience during a Middle School experience unlike any other. “In your three years navigating the Middle School, you’ve had to deal with all of the challenges that came to us because of the pandemic,” said Bob. “All of the things that you’ve accomplished, and most importantly who you are today, has made us all so very proud of you.”
Eighth grader Sage Rawley echoed Bob’s sentiments when describing her journey starting Crossroads as a seventh grader during remote learning. “Middle School has been full of experiences that have shaped us into who we are today. We are in the middle of so much and it’s easy to feel lost, but remember we have each other and we are all going through it together.”
Togetherness was a theme that classmate Zachary Kennedy-Bailey touched on during his own address. He credited the Crossroads community for teaching him an important life lesson about caring: “I know the world is not in a great place and it does not feel particularly caring at times. There’s a lot of work to be done with so many issues. But at Crossroads, all corners—staff, teachers, administration, students—have shown us how to care about each other and be part of a community. As we enter high school on our way out into this world, I know we will carry it with us.”
Eighth-Grade Core Teacher Ebony Murphy-Root encouraged students to pursue their goals and, more importantly, to enjoy the journey. Head of Middle School Michelle Merson ushered the class across the stage and shook hands with each student before handing them their culmination certificate.
Rising seniors Nneka Moweta and Charlie Kayne concluded the event by welcoming the future ninth graders to the Upper School. “Inevitably, moving on is about closing some doors that are never easy to close, but it’s also about opening new and exciting doors,” said Nneka. Charlie added, “You never know what lies on the other side of those doors, but that’s part of the excitement—part of the thrill of growing up.”