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James Simons alumni return to inspire students

James SimonsOn Thursday, June 17, 2021, James Simons Montessori School hosted its 5th Annual Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony. This year’s event included nine honored guests that personify the bonds and relationships created at James Simons. 

While James Simons has been in existence for 101 years (the school celebrated its centennial last year), the middle school program is only in its sixth year. The Montessori model at the adolescent level combines seventh and eighth grade in the same classroom. So now, if students attend James Simons from start to finish, they could be there for close to a decade (PreK3 to 8th grade). This was the case for both of the speakers at this year’s event, Anareia Coe and Jalen Brown-Singleton. Anareia and Jalen reflected on being a part of the program since their primary years and the ways in which their teachers and classmates have become part of their school family.

More proof of this “family mentality” were nine seniors from the first-ever middle school class at James Simons returning to campus, dressed in their caps and gowns. Zaire Brooks, Madison Brown, Shanya Goodwin, Malachi Graham, Malek Graham, Ashia Moore, and Salicae Wright represented Burke High School, and Makayla Gary and Starlyn White attended Summerville High School. These graduates were honored at the promotion ceremony where the future class was told that they will be in this position four years from now.

Those completing their time at James Simons this year were also asked to reflect on what their biographies will read and sound like. Then the alumni walked down the halls to the Pomp and Circumstance Graduation March and were met with cheers and applause from students and staff throughout the school. Younger scholars made posters and danced along to the graduation march, while the graduating seniors connected with their former teachers and enjoyed being honored by their alma mater. It was a special experience for everyone involved and reminded those in attendance that James Simons will always be home for so many who enter its doors.