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Lower School Closing Ceremony Celebrates Class IV
Lower School Closing Ceremony Celebrates Class IV

On Thursday, June 6, the 58 members of Class IV entered the Goel Theater for the last time as lower schoolers, surrounded by family and friends.

On Thursday, June 6, the 58 members of Class IV entered the Goel Theater for the last time as lower schoolers, surrounded by family and friends.

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Raina Sohur '23, elected by her peers to deliver the Class IV address, extended thanks to family, friends, and faculty and reflected on what defines the Class of 2023. "We look no different than any other Winsor class on the outside...but in our hearts, we have laughing fits and crying sessions, and inside jokes, and friendships we will never forget."

Recounting, with wit and humor, many of the memorable moments that helped bring the class together, she also reflected on the tangible legacy they'll leave behind, from the hand-crafted benches for the bus stop; to a new Lower School affinity group; to the elimination of the mandatory red bags ("you're welcome!") "No matter how many 'cringe-y' pictures we dig up of each other from Classes I and II, no matter where we are headed and where we have been," she concluded, "we will mean the world and more to each other, and nobody else. And maybe that's the beauty in it."

Following Raina's remarks, the class brought the audience to its feet with their performance of this year's Class IV song, "Good Old Days" by Mackelmore Feat. Kesha, as coordinated and led by music faculty Felicia Brady-Lopez. Then the heads of the Class IV Legacy Club unveiled the Legacy Benches, hand-constructed by the Class IV students over the course of the year, and gifted to the school. 

The current Lower School Council heads, Natalie Pan '23 and Meredith Tangney '23, shared highlights from the year, and offered advice to the newly elected heads for the upcoming year, Ciara Leonard '24 and Beatrix Picotte '24.  "As Señor Jerdon once told our Spanish class, 'There are two ways to work with a team. Cooperation is easier because it is just dividing up the work. However, real teamwork lies in collaboration because that means truly making sure everyone is on board as a group.'"

Isabella Sibble '20, President of the Class of 2020, welcomed the Class of 2023 to the Upper School. "This is it, the big transition," she began. Speaking from experience, she encouraged the rising freshman to "live in the moment and take every opportunity given to you. Class V is a brand new start and you have the invaluable opportunity to reinvent yourself. You can be whoever you want to be, and you'll be surrounded by all of us who are unapologetically ourselves." 

Head of Lower School Sharon Jones Phinney recognized the following Lower School faculty members who are leaving Winsor: Linda HansenMeghan HazardRick Mosher, and Penny Ouellete. "We want you to know how much you will be missed. We appreciate your time and dedication to Lower School and the Winsor community," she said.

The ceremony concluded with the Class IV students receiving their certificates from their beloved Class IV advisors, history faculty Annie Huntoon and history faculty Libby Parsley. And Ms. Jones Phinney addressed the class a final time about the challenges and opportunities before them.

"When Frederick Douglass said, 'If there is no struggle, there is no progress,' he understood that struggling is the key to making progress," she said, relating the lesson to each student's journey. "You struggled to make progress, to move yourself forward, to change the situation for the better." And all the while, "You wore the Winsor values openly and embraced me. And whether you are here, at another school, later in college, or out in the world doing good works to make the world a better place, I know you will carry those values with you, because now and later you will always be Winsor."

Congratulations to the Class of 2023!