End of Year Reflections and Events


By Wokandapix from pixabay.com

        As the end of the year approaches, Village School will soon be saying goodbye to eighteen seniors! To celebrate, a senior picnic and a graduation ceremony are planned the week of June 21st. If the weather permits, both events will be held outside with students, staff, and their families gathering together for the first time since the start of the pandemic. As we approach the end of the year, here is what some of the seniors and have to say about graduation and beyond.

Do you feel excited- or any other emotions- now that you are graduating?

“I’ve been here for five years so I’m definitely getting emotional about leaving my Village family. I feel extremely lucky that I found this community of amazing students and teachers and had the opportunity to learn and grow here. Of course, I’m very excited to head off to college, but I’ll come back to visit as often as I can!”


“It feels alright, but also a bit weird.”


“Yes, I am excited! But somewhat neutral. I think I dreamed too much of this event that now it feels sort of unreal.”


“I feel irritated with the way things ended. It wasn’t as I planned, wanted, hoped, or liked. But I am sure many of my fellow seniors feel the same. Things were rushed or we didn’t get the time to do the things we wanted. I didn’t get to go on all the trips I hoped with Village, or strengthen my relationship with the teachers and staff. I wish my entire extended family could see me there too when I graduate. I wish I could have been here since the beginning of the school year and maybe I would still have a friendship with someone who is now back to being a distant acquaintance. I had more to give, more to experience, more to show, and I couldn’t. I wanted to show how I feel now, I am alive.”


“I feel excited to move onto the next chapter of my life, but sad that I’m moving on from friends that I can’t see as much.”


“I am very excited. I can’t wait to experience a whole other world outside of Garden City and Long Island in general.”


“I am extremely excited to be graduating. A few years ago it seemed like I may not graduate at all so where I am now is 100 percent better.”


“I’m excited of course, but more than anything it’s a sense of freedom to carve out my own path for what I do from here on out.”


“I feel relief and anxiety at the same time.”


“I’m happy that I’m graduating but at the same time I’m sad that I’m leaving.”

Do you have any feedback that could help Village School improve in the coming years?

“Start a class for Excel. It’s a useful skill for many internships.”


“I thought the Digital Portfolio we did in Lauren’s “James Baldwin” class this year was a fun way to present our work, goals, and accomplishments throughout the semester. It would be cool to see it implemented in other classes!”


“It could use more decorations.”


“There isn’t need for improvement .”


“I wish all teachers talked individually with the students and not just the teachers. They have the opportunity with a smaller school to build further trust. If they know something is going on then they should talk about it with them and give advice or affirmations. Paying more attention to body language. It would mean a lot.”


“Be more strict on late work and getting things in on time.”


“I don’t have anything crazy to say everything went pretty smoothly for me.”


“Assemblies about social issues that can help with the uncomfortable/ignorant air surrounding them.”


“Not really. I can’t explain what it is about village, but the school model just works.”


“I think village could do more to help protect people of color, because dismissive remarks are often regarded as opinion and not properly explained on why they are harmful. I think it’s especially important considering that I have made a transition to a school mostly consisting of a Jewish/ Asian population to one with a majority white population and could sense the difference.”

What are your plans for next year and what made you decide to go down that route? (College choice/ otherwise)

“This fall, I’ll be going to Yale and pursuing studies in the realm of physics, computer science, math, and neuroscience. I’ve always been interested in research science and have worked at computational neuroscience for the past several years, so I’ll be continuing that when I get on campus!”


“No plans, just trying to survive life one step at a time.”


“I don’t have anything planned yet.”


“Go to Nassau for two years, and then switch to a State university or city university to study business or finance. Then work in either finance or real estate.”


“My plan for next year is college and what made me go down this path is a new future to meet new people and advance my academics to get a job in the future.”


“I’m planning on going to Nassau community college to see if I’m going to like college or not.”


“I am attending the University of Hartford I am majoring in aerospace engineering. It’s gonna be difficult but that’s why I chose it so I always have to stay interested. ”


“I’m planning on attending RIT and majoring in mechanical engineering and technology.”


“I am taking a gap year to ensure my emotional stability during a transfer to adulthood.”

     Lauren Sullivan, Village’s English teacher who also advised Seniors during the college application process, reflected on the year as well:

Looking back, how do you think this year went?

“Looking back, I truly believe this school year went very, very smoothly.  With so many moving parts to consider– from scheduling students through a hybrid schedule, incorporating tech into our teaching in a way we have never had to before, and adhering to health and safety protocols– it easily could have been a disastrous year.  But it wasn’t! Was it difficult? Yes. Was this year as special as usual? No.  But all in all, we accomplished what we needed, kept our students and faculty safe, and had a very productive year academically.  I believe that is a testament to the quality of people- students, staff, and parents- that we have here at Village: dedicated and resilient team players. “

How do you think you handled the year- physically and emotionally?  In comparison to teens/students?

 “I think I handled this year as well as one can.  I tried to be very flexible and showed myself and the students grace as we navigated “virtual” school.  Emotionally, I struggled sometimes, but not really from anything related to school.  In fact, school was often a place of solace for me amid the sadness and anxiety that came with a COVID world. In a way, COVID created this wonderful opportunity to tap into our ability to empathize with each other.  Because the pandemic was something we all had to live through, we understood very acutely how difficult it was and, I believe, showed each other kindnesses that maybe we don’t always afford each other, but certainly should.”

Could you share a few words about this year’s graduating class and how you feel about them moving on?

“This year’s graduating class has been through the ringer! Their junior year was cut off at the knees amid panic and fear and then their senior year, while certainly an improvement from the prior spring, still was pretty difficult and isolating.  I will miss this years’ students– some of them have been with us since 8th grade– and I wish we could have made this year more “normal” for them.  However, it can never be said that they didn’t rise up and persevere– they are headed onto the next step of their journeys having accessed more inner strength than any graduating class before.  And that is definitely a valuable trait to have as they move forward in life.”


        The seniors have worked very hard for this moment and Village can’t wait to see them in their cap and gowns!