Greensboro Montessori School sends tremendous congratulations and a fond farewell to our class of 2017. In our lead photo for this post, the class of 2017 stands proudly in the top row. Pictured from left to right are Isabel Egbert, Jean-Lou Paré, Jack Brown, Sophie Strugnell, Baxter Smelzer, Simon Smith, Eli Wainscott, Ya Chukasul, and Hayden Juneau. The inaugural ninth-grade class, who will return next year, kneels along the bottom row. Pictured from left to right are Alex Kotis, Owen Jacobs and Theo Fenske.

[dt_sc_h2] Sound Bites from the Class of 2017[/dt_sc_h2]

Greensboro Montessori School's graduation exercises include personal speeches from the graduates. In these moments, the audience is treated to glimpses of each graduate's past, present and future. In honor of these young adults' self-awareness, maturity, accomplishments and gratitude, we share some of the most touching thoughts shared by the class of 2017. Photos courtesy of Aris Wells Photography

[dt_sc_h5]Jack Brown[/dt_sc_h5]

"I have only been at Montessori for three years, but I have gotten the experience of a lifetime. I can say, without a doubt, that this Montessori experience will put me ahead all throughout my life. First of all, I'd like to thank my parents for sending me to this school...Like all things in life, things come and go away, sometimes even too quickly. And when I found my grade the oldest one in Montessori, I knew it had been too quick. Although I have been dreading leaving this school, I am also looking forward to the upcoming year."
Jack's next stop: Grimsley High School

[dt_sc_h5]Ya Chukasul[/dt_sc_h5]
Greensboro Montessori School class of 2017"Now Middle School. Nothing has changed a lot about me; I'm still quiet as I could ever be. Old friends were still there for me, so I felt safe. Things changed here though. Assignments got more difficult and [there were] projects I thought I would never be able to do. From creating a wolf suit on stilts, to creating costumes, to creating a movie. Teachers in Middle School: Jonathan, Doug, Deirdre, Dean, Jenny, Sandra, Matt and Keisha. Without your help, I wouldn't be on this stage today. Middle School felt just like family."
Ya's next stop: Weaver Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts and Advanced Technology

[dt_sc_h5]Isabel Egbert[/dt_sc_h5]
Greensboro Montessori School Class of 2017
"Before I do anything, I need to thank my family. Grant, you made me who I am in ways you can't even understand. You are always there for me, and I love you. Mom and Dad, thank you for putting me in this school and for supporting me in everything I do...Eighth grade is a confusing, scary fever dream. Everything stops being just a thing and becomes your last thing. Your last Marketplace; your last Land trip; your last Advisory; [your] last time in CASA; until finally, you're standing here for the last time. Thank you all for everything."
Isabel's next stop: Weaver Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts and Advanced Technology

[dt_sc_h5]Hayden Juneau[/dt_sc_h5]
Greensboro Montessori School Class of 2017
"In his final year at this school, this kid, alongside his partner in crime, Owen Jacobs...started to run everything tech related, doing things like being the first students to run [theatrical productions] by themselves. This kid, in his final year, found out what he wanted to be. He found out what he was skilled at, and here he is, standing on a stage, the last day he will be a student here, telling you about the last three years of his life in the third person. How - meta - is - that?"
Hayden's next stop: Weaver Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts and Advanced Technology

[dt_sc_h5]Jean-Lou Paré[/dt_sc_h5]
Greensboro Montessori School Class of 2017
"It took a little bit of time to adjust to the new homework load, but once I got past that, I had lots of fun in Jonathan's long-term [creative labs] projects, Dean's science labs, and Doug's math classes. I also had a blast at the land helping the Racoon tribe set up the Tipi, make a fire, and the fun job of washing dishes. I also enjoyed the woodworking rotation...Thank you to everyone that has helped make my experience at GMS the best it could be and making it possible for me to attend the STEM Early College next year."
Jean-Lou's next stop: STEM Early College at NC A&T State University

[dt_sc_h5]Baxter Smelzer[/dt_sc_h5]Greensboro Montessori School Class of 2017
"After 12 years of the Greensboro Montessori School, I am definitely going to miss it. Leaving can be a scary and an exciting time. And I have had not only amazing relationships with friends throughout the years, but also with the teachers. You couldn't ask for more involved and caring teachers. Teachers, staff, and friends all in [an] awesome Montessori environment that all helped me grow to be ready for the next step in my life. After being here, I look around and realize I am ready. I have been well prepared and have learned the skills I need to move forward."
Baxter's next stop: Page High School (pre-IB) or Weaver Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts and Advanced Technology

[dt_sc_h5]Simon Smith[/dt_sc_h5]
Greensboro Montessori School Class of 2017
"I have spent..12 years of my life in this school and sometimes I gotta ask, 'Is this the real life or is [it] just fantasy?' This school has been amazing to me from the teachers to the staff, and this place has most definitely given me its all...A little known fact about me..I don't like change. But life forces you to change whether you like it or not...You just have to adapt."
Simon's next stop: Weaver Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts and Advanced Technology

[dt_sc_h5]Sophie Strugnell[/dt_sc_h5]
Greensboro Montessori School Class of 2017
"My experience at GMS has definitely been special...Learning in [a] Montessori environment is a lot more free. There aren't as many guidelines, and it's more based around genuine curiosity. I think in Montessori there are a lot more lessons that are being learned, and there are a lot of life skills that are involved. I've really enjoyed my time here and have made many memories with many people. Even though I've only been here one year, I'm gonna miss everyone so much, but I'm excited to see what's in store for me next."
Sophie's next stop: Northern Guilford High School

[dt_sc_h5]Eli Wainscott[/dt_sc_h5]Greensboro Montessori School Class of 2017
"My final word describes my Middle School experience is 'nuevo,' which means 'new' in Spanish. Everything is new here. You are thrust into projects and situations that you've never experienced before, and it's blissfully confusing to figure it out, solve the puzzle, get rid of the grit on the lens to see the full picture. I've done it all now, however. I've planted microgreens; I've led a group to be saved by aliens; I've branched out to new people, new groups of people; and I've learned by this. By every moment, every decision, I've grown as a person."
Eli's next stop: Weaver Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts and Advanced Technology


[dt_sc_h2]Looking Ahead to the Class of 2018[/dt_sc_h2]

In 1997, Greensboro Montessori School graduated its first class of three eighth-grade students. It seems fitting on the 20th anniversary of that historic occasion, we are proudly introducing the School's first class of ninth-grade students, and it is also comprised of three students. Greensboro Montessori School is proud to announce the intelligent, talented, creative and courageous young men who are boldly pioneering the School's ninth-grade program.

Greensboro Montessori School's inaugural ninth grade

Theo Fenske

Greensboro Montessori School's inaugural ninth grade

Owen Jacobs

Greensboro Montessori School's inaugural ninth grade

Alex Kotis