Friday, May 19, 2006

no more pencils...

Three of our grandchildren attend our small rural school of Oakland Elementary. Madison and Racheal came home one day this week chanting:
No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher's dirty looks!

This is Kyle's last year at Oakland, and last night we attended the momentous occasion that was the 5th grade graduation. Graduations ceremonies evoke a lot of emotions, the parents and teachers are sad to see the end of an era in the kids' lives, the kids are nervous about what the future holds, a lot of folks are remembering a graduation in their own past, like our daughters, Melissa and Carrie, who were reminiscing about their own graduation right here from Oakland, the dresses they wore, the songs they sang.

Kyle was represented well in the audience by 3 grandparents, 2 parents, 3 sisters, and 1 aunt. There were many awards given out for attendance and honor roll. The fifth graders, being the oldest at the school, help out around the school, teacher Toni Born saying "doing whatever needs to be done," and they were recognized for their help in the kindergarten, the lunchroom, the library, and the daily news report.

Upon handing out the individual awards, when Ms. Born got to Kyle, she had to pause, and with a broken voice told the crowd that Kyle was very special to her, because way back in the first year she taught 5th grade at Oakland, she had Kyle's mom in class. Kyle's mom, of course is our daughter Melissa, who was sitting next to me. Melissa was looking through the camera, supposedly to capture the award presentation, but it also helped to hide her tears, and by that time of course we were all getting a little misty-eyed.

Jim Parmer, the principal, noted that these kids started pre-K here at Oakland the same year he started as principal there, 7 years ago, so he was also melancholy about letting them move on to middle school. Although, as he said, they are quick to point out to him that he missed those 2 years he was in Iraq, even though he would keep in touch via phone. As is his tradition since he was in Iraq and wanted to send his thoughts to the graduating class, Mr. Parmer wrote a poem - to the Class of 2006.

Love is more than a Word!

2005-2006 Graduating Class
Oakland Elementary School
By Jim Parmer
10 miles and a few minutes

Oakland Elementary graduating Class of 2006,
It's been my honor to have been in your mix.

Some, I have gotten to know really well…
Was it because you were in trouble?.. I won't tell!

I've watched you grow from a young child at the age of five,
To young men and women full of life and alive!

Your journey has brought you to this point, with limited strife.
You, for the most part, have had a wonderful experience in your life.

The journey ahead may be filled with a few bumps in the road…
Remember, the Lord knows your limit and measures your load!

The staff and I trust that your tour at Oakland has been a pleasure.
We know the memories will always be a treasure.

We have been here to offer you our best.
We now present to you the ultimate test…

To perform as well or better at Gilmer Middle School.
We feel we have offered you an efficient learning tool.

To continue your success each and every day.
To learn more and develop new paths along the way.

Do not always stick to the "tried and true"
Because our future will depend on you!

It is my desire that when I see you at Wal-Mart on any given day…
That you will remember Oakland and say hey.

And remember, Love is more than a word!

Previous thoughts on Oakland Elementary and it's patriotic principal, Jim Parmer.


Finn said...

Graduation from any grade is a truly special time. Always seems hard for some to understand, but it's such a tremendous milestone. A journey ending, and another beginning. Back in Michigan where DH did his first teaching, he was class councilor to seniors one year. They soooo wanted to rush, rush, rush and get it over with and get out of there. You try to tell them how few years will go by before they look back and wish they were still in high school. And of course, the truth is that you can never go back, not really. the days and years should be cherished...but youth doesn't know that.

I always get teary when they play Pomp and Circumstance...a really grand tradition..graduation. Thanks for sharing yours..*VBS*

LZ Blogger said...

Sounds like Kyle is a lucky guy. Good luck to him in middle school too! ~ jb///

doubleknot said...

They start to seem to grow up so fast at that age.
Congratulaions - it is so wonderful there was so much family there for support.
Not many teachers around any more either that said they had taught more then one generation.

jellyhead said...

What a lovely story (and the poem by Jim Parmer was so sweet)

I've been reading through all your posts from while I was away. I missed reading your thoughts and news!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Jim Parmer is quite a principal. I read your links and what a learning experience for the kids. They probably knew more about the real Iraq than most of us who have to depend on the bad news media.

Our grandkids are growing up Susan and a might too fast.

The H.S. graduation with grandson & neice last night was also the same HS where their parents graduated from. Both kids went to the same elem. school as their parents and on up too.