The students and teachers at Kino successfully completed the 2020-2021 school year. This year can best be summed up by the following graduation addresses, one by a Kino graduate, Emily Giedraitis, and one by the Director, Mary Jane Cera.
Mary Jane's Graduation Speech Welcome to the Graduation Celebration for the class of 202L. When Kino first opened up at our present location in 1976, we used to have a motto, "Kino Kids Care". And 45 years later, this is still very true. These high school graduates are stellar examples of people who care. They have shown time and time again that they care about their learning, about their homerooms, about the animals, about their environment, about the other students. They care about our beautiful outdoors, and about the Kino Community. They can be seen (and heard) giving concerts, sheering sheep, repairing trails, making the greenhouse and gardens productive and beautiful, helping younger students, helping teachers, and celebrating the accomplishments of others. Some of these graduates have been caring at and for Kino for up to t2 years, and one with the fewest years at Kino brought her loving, caring heart with her and shared it with us all. They will leave us with dreams to become pilots, animal rights advocates, and college students. They will take what they learned at Kino and from their families, and the creative, responsible, and compassionate people that they all are, to the next step on their journey. Kino also had another saying, "Preparing Kids for the Year 2000" ! Well, in L976 the year 2000 seemed like a long way away. We are now 21,years past that goal. Reflecting on this and Kino's journey over the years, I realized that this saying has taken on a whole new meaning. We have heard many words to describe this past year: unprecedented, difficult, challenging, uncertain, frightening, unsettling, lonely and loss - of friendships, routines, celebrations, customs, or rituals. New words have entered our day to day vocabulary - COVID, pandemic, new normal, zooming. But I realized that our job was not just to prepare kids for the year 2000. we prepared our students to face whatever challenges might come along, suddenly and unknown. Yet they remained resilient, resourceful, and hopeful. They did whatever it took to be back in school and to accomplish all that they set out to do. And they were compassionate and grateful along the way. Whatever lies ahead, our students are prepared. They will have the courage, strength, and self-confidence to meet those challenges, uncertainties, or difficulties. They have done it. They can again. They are compassionate. They will be hopeful and grateful, as am
Emily's Graduation Speech
Before I came to Kino School, I went to two previous schools that were not meant for me. One School I had two boys who bullied me, another School I had a classroom teacher who was so mean to me and to other students too. I felt like I wasn't going to fit in anywhere. Then we found Kino School. I finally felt like fit in with everybody in this wonderful School. During my three day visit, I had met kind and fun loving teachers who are incredible at teaching children of all ages. Students of all grades were welcomed and taught to work together as a community, from primary to senior high the students learned how to understand each other and work out problems with teamwork. The School also taught students about showing kindness and care to other creatures. Kino School has had a variety of pet animals over the years such as goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, fish, turkeys, and miniature donkeys! Kino School teaches how animals are important and why it is important that we take care of them. Any special occasion or celebration that the animals are a part of, they are mostly included because they are treated like they are part of the Kino family. I felt the same way when I did my three day visits. All the Teachers and Students welcomed me with loving arms like I was already one of them. After the visits, I knew I wanted to go to Kino school immediately. I didn't even want to wait until I was in another grade or to say goodbye to everyone at my old School, I wanted to be at Kino right away. This School is unlike any other School that I have gone to. During holidays or special occasions, the School would celebrate by throwing huge and fun parties for students and parents to attend to. My favorite party that the school has every year is Halloween. The students are allowed to wear costumes to school, fun activities are planned by each homeroom, candy is given to students, and awesome memories are made. The field trips are also an amazing part of how the school teaches the students about the world outside the classroom. From restaurants to outdoor hikes and educational learning places, the teachers take students out into the big world to learn about how beautiful the world is to explore. Kino School is all about teaching children of all ages to understand and appreciate the world around us rather than the standard learning style of public schools. There is a well known quote at the School that most of the school's teachers and students know. "Where learning and life are one." I understand the meaning of that quote. To me it means that we can learn at school and out in the outside world at the same time! Even during this difficult pandemic of COVID-19, Kino School still manages to teach Students about staying safe and healthy and to have hope for a better future. I was supposed to graduate last year actually before this pandemic hit America. But my parents managed to hold a drive by graduation celebration for me and all my teachers, friends, and family came by to celebrate with me. Now here I am graduating for real this time but will still come back once in a while to care for the animals and volunteer as a teacher's assistant. I wish to say these final words before I move on to my next goal in life. To all the new students and those coming here for generations to come, always work hard and try to do your best to accomplish your goals in life. To my teachers, classmates, friends, and family, thank you for helping me grow and learn so I can find out who I want to be. To especially my mother and father, thank you for raising me all my life and for helping me grow into the woman I am today. With all of my heart to all of those I know and love, thank you.
6625 N. 1st Avenue Tucson, Arizona 85718 - firstname.lastname@example.org -520-297-7278 Kino School is Fully Accredited by WASC -The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges