It’s not every day that your principal asks you to go out into the world as a soaring eagle thermostat. But that’s what Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School Principal Karen Lewis asked fifth graders to do at their promotion ceremony June 11.
Lewis told the story of a baby eagle who fell out of his nest, landing in a turkey farm. The eaglet grew up among turkeys, and even though he never quite fit in, he went along, doing what turkeys do.
One day while he was walking through the forest, he ran into an owl who challenged the eagle — “Run as fast as you can and spread your wings.” From that day on, the eagle knew who he really was. He wasn’t a turkey, he was meant to soar.
“Sometimes you’ll find yourself among turkeys,” Lewis told the students. “But you are eagles and you are meant to soar. Choose your friends carefully, connect with the right people and leave all those turkeys alone.”
She then shifted gears asking the future sixth graders if they were a thermostat or a thermometer. Thermometers read a room’s temperature, thermostats set it. “So, what are you,” Lewis asked. And that’s when a bunch of kids called out in unison, “I’m a thermostat!”
“As you go through your summer, I just want you to remember you are a soaring eagle thermostat,” Lewis said, earning laughter from parents and guests.
The promotion ceremony celebrates student achievements as they prepare to move on to the next chapter — middle school. Yolanda Judge, owner of ARMS Contracting, was the guest speaker who shared five tips with the students as they welcome summer and say goodbye to elementary school.
Rest, communicate, decide what they stand for, have confidence in themselves to be themselves and remember they are not alone.
“You have people,” Judge said. “You are not alone. You have your friends, you have your parents. You are wanted and you are loved. You already have a great foundation. You are not starting over. You’re building.”
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,108 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.