I am now the parent of a middle-schooler. What? That's right, last Thursday, Antonio officially graduated from elementary school with honors. Since we were unsuccessful in our hunt for a babysitter, I got the honor of attending the ceremony. It was a thrill as we raced to the church where the ceremony was being held. I dropped Antonio off close to the entrance so he wouldn't be too late, and hunted for a parking place. I climbed the grassy hill back toward the entrance, pushed through the straggling crowd, presented my ticket and was overwhelmed by the full church. There were many people that stood through the 2 hour ordeal. I was lucky, since I was on my own, to find a spot in the middle somewhere. It was really hot in there. I was excited and surprised to see Antonio's name on the program for leading the Pledge of Allegience; he got this honor because he won the school's Tropicana Speech Contest a couple months ago. What a thrill to hear his voice over the microphone as we all stood to recite this precious Pledge (the picture I snapped was somewhat less thrilling.)
I won't bore you all with the details of the ceremony, because it did drag out as we listened to 8 classes worth of names called for many honors and then the actual presentation of their "diplomas." I was disappointed to learn that my cell phone didn't get service in there, so I couldn't text with Nick about the goings-on. I know, it's terribly rude, but I was on my own and wanted to share! There were some very special moments as the principal shared her message, the librarian read a poem, and best of all - the kids sang "I'm On My Way" by Phil Collins as their class song. My favorite part was catching up with Antonio afterwards and hugging him hard.
He was homeschooled for kindergarten and 1st grade, went to 4 elementary schools, and now has graduated from 5th grade with 11 awards. I could not be more proud of him. I'm excited to see his growth in the future as he begins the adventure of secondary school as a homeschooler in the prayer room. God has His hand on Antonio!
This is Antonio's 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Colwell. Yes, she is too young to be leading a class of tweens, but she did a really good job this year. Especially by recognizing what a great kid Antonio is! ;)
The first medallion is for completing all three goals for the first 9 weeks of the Read, Believe, Achieve program.
The second is the A-B Honor Roll award for earning all A's and B's on their report cards during the school year.
This is the Presidential Excellence Award (including pin) for students who carried a G.P.A. of 3.5 or above for all of 4th grade and the beginning of 5th grade.
This award is for participating in the production of the WGLE new show each morning during the school year. Antonio was actually a part of the news crew at his last school in 4th grade, and loved it so much that he volunteered to be a part of the 1st news crew of Grassy Lake Elementary. He confessed to me that, at first, he knew how to run everything better than the teacher/sponsor.
Here is the certificate for A/B Honor Roll. How great are my kids?
The Star Citizen Award is for students who have shown excellent citizenship during the entire year in their classroom - it's teacher's choice.
Reading Excellence Award is for students who score 1 or more years above grade level on their S.T.A.R. test.
Math Excellence Award is for scoring 1 or more years above grade level in math on the S.T.A.R. test.
Star Patrol Award is for 5th grade students who were part of STAR patrol (or safety patrol) during the school year. Antonio was excited to tell me about his 4th grade intern he was training up for next year.
The FCAT Achievement Awards for Reading and Mathematics are for 5th graders who scored an Achievement Level of 4 or 5 on Florida's state standardized test.
And this, dear ones, is proof that Antonio Canuso completed 5th grade and graduated from elementary school on June 4th, 2009.
Can I hear an Amen?