WEST HARTFORD — “The ability to access the innocence, optimism, and joy of your inner child will be of increasing value” was commencement speaker Ed Donahue’s message for Renbrook School’s 83rd graduating class.

Having been a preschool teacher to many of the departing eighth-grade students, Donahue reflected on their growth and accomplishments inside and outside the classroom. Drawing from the very fairytales he reads to his youngest students, he encouraged the graduates to stay focused on their studies and long-term goals, ask for help when needed, and always to practice kindness and understanding. Most importantly, however, he advised the eighth graders to believe in themselves as they possess a “reservoir of inner strength, courage, and problem-solving” that will prepare them for whatever obstacles may come their way.

Student speakers Ged G. and Sydney A. were selected by their classmates to present the history of their class, starting with those students who began Renbrook as three-year-olds and finishing with those who joined in middle school. Following their address, Shauna S. and Theo A. explained that they decided on a commissioned painting as their class gift, with the remaining funds raised by their grade to be donated to the Renbrook Fund. The artwork, which will be made by commencement speaker Ed Donahue, will incorporate their class’s diverse interests with imagery of the Renbrook campus.

Following Donahue’s speech, Head of School Scott Hutchinson shared his words of wisdom with the outgoing class and shared his hope that students would always find a home at Renbrook. Lastly, he kept with tradition by reading an original poem crafted to highlight the unique talents and passions of the eighth graders. With their combined love of theater, music, athletics, and the pursuit of knowledge, Hutchinson made clear that they will be an unforgettable group of students.

In the fall, the Renbrook class of 2019 will attend: Avon Old Farms School; Berkshire School; Choate Rosemary Hall; Emma Willard School; Ethel Walker School; Groton School; Kingswood Oxford School; Loomis Chaffee School; Middlesex School; Miss Porter’s School; Northwest Catholic High School; Phillips Academy Andover; Plainville High School; Pomfret School; Simsbury High School; St. George’s School; Suffield Academy; Taft School; Vernon High School; Watkinson School and Westminster School.

Visit www.renbrook.org/ for more information.

Connecticut Media Group