PUBLISHED: 1:49 PM on Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Students take step to next level of education in community ceremony
Montessori Borealis

  Photo by Amanda Gragert Andrea Stats leads her kindergarten students to meet their new teachers for the first grade at the Montessori Borealis Passage Ceremony on Tuesday, May 30, at Chapel by the Lake.
Students of Montessori Borealis took steps to make the passage from one level of education to the next Tuesday, May 30, at Chapel by the Lake in a community ceremony.

Chris Trostel, a Montessori teacher who instructs fourth, fifth and sixth grades, said the ceremony was a "bookend" to the year. She said the first day of school is called Wisdom Day to show students to be thankful for the opportunity to learn.

"There is a golden opportunity to make this world better than we found it. It's these children before us making the best of themselves with your guidance and your love," Trostel said. "We don't know what impact these children will have, but we have faith in them."

While the ceremonies are traditionally held by each class, this year marks the first time in the ceremonies have been held together at one location.

"I had a dream we could have our community together with one roof. We might not have our own building, but we are together under one roof. I think all these teachers deserve recognition with the children," said Montessori teacher Lupita Alvarez, receiving a standing ovation.

The Juneau Montessori school program has been in place for more than 20 years.

Students participating in the ceremony who will be moving on to new teachers for the next grade level were those in kindergarten and grades three, six, eight and nine.

After introducing students from their class, teachers walked the stage with students for a final time before introducing the children to their new teachers.

Sixth-graders each read what they liked about attending Montessori school.

Miya Streuber said she most enjoyed performing "A Midsummer Night's Dream," in which she played Helena.

Aaron Corcoran said he appreciates the opportunity to attend Montessori school.

"When I first came to Montessori I didn't know what to expect. What I found was a big family," he said.

"I'll never forget my experience in Montessori, and I'm grateful."