From Africa to Baltimore: The long path to education for a Hopkins star

Harford Day School graduates 35

Thirty-six eighth graders at Harford Day School in Bel Air were awarded diplomas at their outdoor graduation ceremony held on the school's campus June 10th.

Thirty-six eighth graders at Harford Day School in Bel Air were awarded diplomas at their outdoor graduation ceremony held on the school's campus June 10th.

Head of School Susan G. Harris provided well-wishes as the graduates move on to their next adventures in high school.

"You have been fully engaged in all that Harford Day had to offer, enjoying each day," Harris told the graduates. "You are ready to close this chapter of your educational journey, but as the next chapter begins in high school, I have every confidence that you will not want to merely read it, you will want to write it - adding your own special perspective and including many adventures in the plot."

Jenny Thompson, an aunt of one of the graduates, delivered the commencement address.

One of the most decorated Olympic swimmers in history, Thompson won 12 medals in the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympic games. She also holds numerous NCAA swimming titles during her college career at Stanford University, 12 gold medals at World Championships, and a long list of relay and individual world records. Additionally, while in medical school, she went on to compete in the 2003 World Championships and in the 2004 Olympics as the oldest member of the U.S. Team at age 31. Thompson is a graduate of Stanford University and Columbia University School of Medicine, and has recently completed her fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology in Boston.

Thompson's message to the graduates, Harford Day faculty and guests was one of inspiration, overcoming life's obstacles and reaching for one's highest goals.

This year's graduating class will attend a variety of area high schools, including North Harford High School, West Nottingham Academy, St. Paul's School, The Science and Math Academy, John Carroll High School, Oldfields School, St. Paul's School for Girls, Calvert Hall College, Institute of Notre Dame, Loyola Blakefield, Roland Park Country School, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Patterson Mill High School, and Bel Air High School.

Awards assembly

The day prior to commencement, some of the graduating eighth-graders from Harford Day School were honored at the school's Awards Assembly.

Scott Walczyk received The Sara Brumfield Award, given to the student who embodies the many qualities of Sara Brumfield, the founding headmistress of Harford Day School.

Lauren Blaudeau and Scott Walczyk received the award for Overall Academic Excellence.

Sydney Thompson was the recipient of the Citizenship Award, given to the student who is active in the school community, provides leadership, cooperates with others, and enthusiastically participates in service projects without thought of reward.

Nicholas Giannasca received the Middle School Faculty Award for modeling integrity, thoughtful attentiveness and intellectual curiosity.

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