The 50th Annual Honor Day at Harpeth Hall celebrated 91 eighth-graders who successfully completed the Daugh W. Smith Middle School program. Honor Day began in 1969 to recognize Harpeth Hall's first eighth-grade class, and fifty years later, the Class of 2023 became a part of this special tradition and marked a milestone in both their education and the school's history.
Director of the Middle School, Judi O'Brien, welcomed the families and friends who filled the Frances Bond Davis Theatre and introduced seventh grader, Charlotte Myers '24, who shared a reflection on the Class of 2023.
"They are a one-of-a-kind class. They wanted me to be my best self," Myers said about being on an athletic team with several eighth graders this year. "For the Class of 2023, leading wasn't the power to push people around, but to bring people together," she added.
Christiane Morton, Class of 2023, was chosen by her class to be the Honor Day Speaker. At the end of seventh grade, in preparation for her eighth grade year, she shared, "I made a promise to myself to talk...but not just talk, but to be confident in me." She continued, "This has been one of the most eye-opening choices I've ever made. If I had not made that choice, I would have never gotten to know this class as I do now."
She went on to share the many fun and "wacky" things they did as classmates this year. The inside jokes, the shared songs, the spontaneous dance parties, and all the many things girls do to bond and make friendships and memories.
"With all of these consuming memories of us together throughout the years, I couldn't even imagine myself somewhere else," she said. Christiane shared her gratitude for Harpeth Hall's outstanding middle school faculty and quoted Malcolm X, "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." She said, "This quote made me ask, where would we be without [our faculty] who educate us and teach in a way that you know you are going to remember what you learned?"
"I want to end this speech by thanking the Class of 2023 for giving me the best middle school experience I could ask for, for giving me confidence throughout my years here, and for letting me and other girls not be afraid to use our voice. You are the most supportive, humorous, and caring group of girls I have ever met," she said.
The audience cheered enthusiastically for Christiane. Her speech was followed by class choral performances and the Presentation of Certificates.
Congratulations Class of 2023! We are very proud of you!
"Allegro" from Baroque Suite
by George Telemann arranged by Michael Hopkins
Seventh Grade Orchestra
"Reflection from Class of 2024"
Charlotte Marie Myers
Christiane Marie Morton
"You've Got a Friend in Me"
by Randy Newman
Fifth and Sixth Grade
"Lean On Me"
by Bill Withers
PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATES
Jess Hill, Head of School
Judi O'Brien, Director of Middle School
"Sisi Ni Moja"
by Jacob Narverud
Advanced Seventh and Eighth Grade Choir
Nancy Turner, Director of Choral Music
Lori McDermott, Director of Instrumental Music
Matthew Pyles, Director of 5th, 6th, and 7th Music
Russell Davis, pianist
Josh Wolter, drummer
Click here for the full Honor Day gallery: