By Janet Hrezo, Brevard Center
Spring Convocation is one of my favorite events. CIP students, parents and staff gather to recognize the remarkable contributions made by students, staff and the Melbourne community over the past year. We laugh and cry during the ceremony as we reflect on what an outstanding group of people makes up our CIP family.
Preparing for the ceremony can be frantic. There are programs and awards to be created, flowers to be bought, speeches to be prepared and rehearsals for the students giving the blessing and opening poem. Flip-flops and jeans must be replaced by dress shoes and khakis and anyone who knows how to tie a tie is in demand. Somehow, we all work it out.
Before the event begins, I really enjoy the chance to talk with students’ parents and relatives. It feels like a family gathering as we talk about what’s been going on since last we saw each other. They are the unsung heroes here. No awards are given to them but they truly deserve recognition.
Then the ceremony begins and it all comes together. Among the award winners this year were Chris Kennedy and Daniel Eakin for excellence in academics and careers and awards in the arts were presented to David Kates, Daniel Kight and Andrew Barbour. Residential awards winners were Sarah Johnson, Valerie Stepp, Ben Kesselhaut and Robert Burtner.
For personal achievement and leadership, Ashley Titone and Moultrie Woodall were honored. Valerie Stepp and Sam Kirby were recognized for outstanding progress while Peter Snell and Moultrie Woodall were named as students of the year. Staff of the Year awards were given to Annette Corrado and Kim Tolley.
Spring Convocation is also a time of sadness for me as I say goodbye to students who are not returning. No one ever really leaves a family and physical absence doesn’t mean that someone is forgotten. My life has been enriched by having had the opportunity to know each student here. They all have a place in my heart and I wish them success and happiness.
Congratulations to all the award recipients and to every student here at CIP. You are all winners.