Eighth Graders Celebrate a Milestone

The Eighth Grade Class of 2026 and their families gathered for a festive celebration in the MAC this week, one of the last times they convened as Middle School students. They heard remarks from Head of School Jay Rainey and Head of Middle School Jen Schuckman.

Cade Miller ’26 and Robyn Davies ’26, eighth-grade STUCO co-heads, welcomed everyone to the event and introduced Rainey. After his remarks, STUCO members Carolyn Clennan ’26, Isabelle Cox-Garleanu ’26, and Sean Hogan ’26 announced the class gift. This year, the eighth-grade class sold spirit items during Homecoming Week. This money was collected to present to a charity of their choice. Together, we raised $873 to present to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The eighth-grade Community Service group also organized the Money Wars for Middle School to help raise funds in support of Ukraine. This event was a big success and raised $2,750 which included a matching donation from Unicef.

Then, Cox-Garleanu, Alex Ludwig ’26, and Harper Clark ’26 shared reflections they had written. (We will post their remarks on the MICDS Blog throughout this summer. Stay tuned, or check out our social media channels to learn when they are posted.) They were followed by Will Shockley, a beloved MICDS teacher who is retiring after this year. Finally, Middle School Art Teacher Jayme Zimmer presented the year-in-review video, which gave students the opportunity to remember all the fun they had and the learning they accomplished.

Schuckman took the mic and talked about this specific class as 145 students who both stand out as individuals and stand together as one.

Each year, Schuckman asks the eighth-grade class questions to accurately capture their essence. The responses were heartfelt and heartwarming.

What are you grateful for?

Many students wrote about people and being together in community. “There was one nod to toasted ravioli and who can argue with that?” joked Schuckman.

If I could tell the Upper School one positive thing about your class, what should it be?

  • We are never boring.
  • We do a really good job at lifting each other up.
  • We are ready to smash any challenge.
  • We are full of good energy.
  • Some of us are good at academics, others arts, others athletics. We are all different together.

What do you want your teachers to know?

  • We all genuinely appreciate you guys so much whether we show it or not. We would not have gotten through this difficult year without you.
  • Thank you so much for always giving us anything we could possibly need to finish our learning off strong. You never spoon-fed us, which helped us learn to be independent but you never took away the safety of being able to ask a question.
  • Your teaching, your encouragement, your guidance, will never, ever be forgotten. Even when we as students had some rough times communicating, understanding, or feeling down, you were the ones who brought us right back up again!

What do you want your parents to know?

  • Thank you, parents. You have raised supportive, aware, and kind human beings.
  • Thanks so much for supporting us with everything we do.
  • Thank you for putting together all of the fun out-of-school activities that we have gotten to do.
  • Thank you for all of the help you gave us this year. We do notice and we are thankful.
  • Parents, good job raising your kids. 🙂

“I would have to agree…good job!” said Schuckman. “It has been an honor to be with you and your children on this crazy adventure that we call Middle School!” She encouraged the Class of 2026 to continue to hold one another up and take good care of each other.

Students also heard from some beloved teachers and mentors who are departing MICDS after this school year, and from their own peers. Stay tuned to the MICDS Blog this summer, where we will post the remarks for you to read. (We’ll alert the community on social media as each goes live, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

Jason Roberts, Middle School Choir Teacher, led the eighth-grade choir as they serenaded their classmates and family members.

Eighth Grade Dean Mr. Tim Storey then read each student’s name as they processed out of the MAC, high-fiving teachers as they went. Rainey and Schuckman presented the students with their certificates.

Congratulations to the Class of 2026. We’ll see you in the Upper School this fall!