This speech was delivered during our inaugural Eighth Grade Graduation on Tuesday, June 19th. James has attended All Saints since Kindergarten.
Hello everyone, my name is James DiBiasi and for my gift, I would like to say a few words on behalf of the FIRST graduating 8th grade class of All Saints Episcopal Day School. Give it up!
First we would like to thank Reverend Curtiss, Mrs. Singleton and our parents — especially those who had the courage 5 years ago to expand All Saints to Eighth Grade. I can’t imagine spending my middle school years anywhere else.
At All Saints we were taught the WHO, the WHERE, and the WHAT, but most importantly we learned to ask WHY. Asking why is a challenge. It’s what makes us question the status quo. It’s what makes us thinkers.
But most importantly All Saints is a family. There is PAPA Curtis – you can just feel his presence throughout the building. And then there’s MAMA Singleton – powerful and committed, yet caring, kind and loving. Then there are the Aunts and Uncles – Ms. Vino, Ms. Klein, Ms. Delany, Ms. Cohen, Ms. Clanton, Mr. Guzman, Mr. Mauldin, and all the other faculty and staff who give one hundred and ten percent.
Like a good family, the children feel safe, loved and cared for by our mom and dad, and our aunts and uncles. The faculty and staff of All Saints pour their souls into their work, to prepare us for the future, and that effort has enriched our souls.
Then there are the siblings. My Eighth Grade brothers and sisters. Like all brothers and sisters, we’ve laughed and cried, we’ve shared and been selfish. There have been happy moments, and we’ve helped each other through some really tough times.
So here are just a few words on each of my siblings, and what makes them special.
First, Michael “the Sherminator” Sherman. Michael proved at a very young age that he has the strength of the Incredible Hulk, by powering through unimaginable loss. Michael, I don’t know how you’ve done it, but I’m very proud to know you.
Then there is Sammy G – the freight train, as we call him on the basketball court. He came to us in Fourth Grade, but it feels like we’ve known him forever. He IS a contradiction though. Athletic and strong, yet artistic, and with a heart the size of New York – Sammy G you are a true friend.
Then there is Nicole Aarts. I’m still convinced she hides her gills. Nicole is focused, dedicated, and determined. It seems like she can excel at just about anything. Think of it like this, no matter how tough the challenge, Nicole makes it look like she’s swimming downstream.
And last but not least Angela – named for an Angel. How did her mom know? Angela is the class peacemaker. And as Reverend Curtiss taught us at a young age, “blessed are the peacemakers”.
My mom and dad tell me that when I was in Kindergarten, I NEVER wanted to go to school. They would literally need to pry my fingers off the door frame and carry me to the car.
Now, I don’t want to leave. All Saints has been our home and you all have been our family. While we are all excited about going to high school, we will miss walking into the comfort, safety, and loving environment you have provided for us through all these years. All we can say is…….thank you all for the wonderful ride.