Congratulations, GEDS Class of 2020!

As I reflect on this year’s graduates, I think of music. And not only because this class has a catalog of songs that is astounding. We had songs about llamas, ogres, and apple juice — and that is just from Echo Hill! When I think about music, I think about harmony, a key part of jazz, which I often played for this class. A regular part of our class soundtrack was my favorite jazz album, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, in which different modalities were used, instead of having a complete score or a script. Different sounds and scales were planned, but specific notes were not. As I reflected on our time together, I realized that our class was much like that: unscripted, improvisational, and yet, beautifully harmonious in its own way. 

So began Mr. L’s speech at graduation this year, and though we weren’t in person at Grace Church to see heads nodding in agreement, there’s no doubt that everyone in attendance smiled in recognition of what an apt metaphor this is for the GEDS Class of 2020.

This small but mighty group of Gryphons certainly had an unusual final year at Grace, with the move to distance learning for their last trimester. They missed out on being able to experience a number of beloved Grace traditions in person, and there’s no doubt that they were disappointed. 

But this group didn’t just adapt to a new reality — they embraced it. From writing and filming their own final chapel prayers, to instigating a lively drive-through Clap-out, to creating not one but TWO entire videos for their own graduation, they never failed to amaze us. They are self-driven, creative, caring, and FUNNY individuals, every one of them.

Ms. Danish also noted this group’s boundless compassion and commitment to doing what’s right. She recalled that this class has long been interested in the power of peaceful protest and activism, and wondered what contribution they might make in the current moment of reckoning for racial and social justice. 

As you prepare to leave us, I hope that wherever you go, you will always stand up for what you know is right. That you will extend your passionate sense of justice to situations and people who need it most. Never be afraid of that compassionate voice within you that speaks to you about what is right and just. Keep writing anthems, keep inventing elaborate characters and solutions to problems, and keep seeding big ideas. You are a remarkable group of seven and you will be such a gift to your new communities.

The members of this class received acceptances from Barrie, Lowell, Georgetown Day, Maret, National Cathedral School, Sandy Spring Friends, St. Andrew’s, Stone Ridge, Edmund Burke, Sheridan, Green Acres, and Parkland Magnet Middle School for Aerospace Technology.

Congratulations, Class of 2020!