Middle School Convocation 2022

Transcript: Student speeches

Compton Jones '27

Hello, Mr. Fortunato, Ms. Hamann, faculty, staff, and students of Thayer Academy Middle School. Welcome to a brand new year, and to this amazing new building that we are so lucky to have. I’m excited and honored to be sharing some thoughts and advice for all of us to mull over as we convocate this morning. 

It’s great to see those who I’ve bonded and forged great relationships with over the years here today, but it is especially thrilling to welcome all the new students to an adventure you can’t even imagine yet. You all might know a lot of facts about Thayer, but now you are part of the actual community, and so the adventure begins. To help you start your journey, and to remind everyone of what it means to be here, here are some reflections about what I have found most valuable. 

First, become yourself. Now that sounds simple, but we’re all constantly learning more and more about who we are, especially in middle school, whether that be academically or in other aspects. While you should definitely aim high in all your classes, you should also strive beyond that and explore new experiences. Audition for the musical, play basketball, try an activity that you don’t know anything about. These are all things I’ve done, but there’s so much more that Thayer offers, and I highly encourage you to take advantage of this great school. 

Secondly, become a friend, which also sounds simple, but it is one of the most important values at Thayer Academy. Be part of the community; ask for help, offer help, encourage your classmates and teammates, just lend a hand. You might come into a great school like this and predict that it is a highly competitive atmosphere, but that is far from the truth. When you reach out for aid, everyone in the school willingly gives aid, and you’ll come to see that this is something that makes Thayer such a special place. 

Finally, become fearless. Don’t be afraid to take chances academically, athletically, and socially, and know that your community has your back. Often times, those risks may not work out, but at least you were brave enough to try. In science, for example, a failed experiment is hugely important, because it points you in the direction of the right answer. And we’re all experimenting every day, so embrace it; be fearless. 

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year. I'm so excited for those of you who are new, especially the 5th and 6th graders among us, to get to know this community is a great privilege. And I hope I’ve reminded all of us who know Thayer, what a great adventure it really is. Savor your time here, especially to the eighth-graders, for it will go by quickly, but the experience will always stay with you. Thank you.


Aashrita Joga '27

Good morning, Mr. Fortunato, Mrs. Hamann, faculty, Staff, administration, and students. Hope you all have had a great summer, and welcome to the 2022-23 school year. My name is Aashrita Joga, I am a current 8th grader, and am very excited to be welcoming you all by sharing my experience, along with some advice for the upcoming school year. 

When I first arrived at Thayer in fifth grade, I was overwhelmed by the size of the school and the number of students. But once I reached my advisory, I felt more at ease by seeing the people I had met during the Blue Hills orientation. And as the days passed by, I felt more comfortable. I could openly talk to my classmates and teachers. Nobody judged me if I didn’t know something. Everyone was supportive and kind. We helped each other through any struggles. And because of that, I was able to feel like I belonged. I made forever friends. Felt more confident in my work. became more involved in the Thayer community. I got out of my comfort zone, and found out more about myself. And it is in these past years at Thayer, I learned certain things that I would like to share with you.

To begin with, be open-minded. Be open to suggestions to improve aspects such as writing or studying tactics, which can be extremely helpful in the future. I would also encourage you all to be open to activities or sports that you haven’t tried before. As Compton said, there are many opportunities that Thayer provides, so take advantage of them! But take your time. Don’t rush anything. The first new thing you try doesn’t have to be your lifelong passion. There will be things you like and don’t like. But you won’t know what they are if you don’t try.

Next, be true to yourself. Do things that make you happy, things you want to do or try. Don’t put your interests, or potential interests aside to be with others, or to be a certain type of person. You may find a new passion of yours, and maybe along the way, make new friends. 

And last, but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t understand something, or have a problem, you don’t have to face it alone. Thayer Teachers are very supportive and can find time to meet with you to help. And your friends, or other students are also there for you. Asking for help never makes you less than anyone. it only makes you stronger for acknowledging and seeking it. 

As I leave you all with these thoughts, I hope you all have a wonderful year. make new friends, learn new things, discover interests, and most importantly have fun. 

Thank you for your time, and once again, welcome to Thayer.