Good morning, my name is DeMiah Jackson. I have experienced peaks and fragments of triumph and failure, but one thing for sure, I learned a lot, met great friends and teachers and had a great time.
I learned so many things about myself the past nine years. One quality I am most proud of is learning what it means to be a student. Becoming a student meant acquiring strong study habits, learning the value of meeting deadlines, and the power of self-advocating and problem solving. This did not happen overnight. It wasn’t until my 3rd grade year with Mrs. McDonough that I became more invested in my learning. This is when the really, really complex thinking and working came to life. It was the time of grappling away with my first research paper and memorizing my first speech in preparation for the Wax Museum. It was challenging, but another opportunity to learn something new.
One of our favorite graduation traditions is the return of one of our outstanding alumni to address the graduating class. This part of the ceremony is always full of inspiring words for the sixth grade class and insightful reflections on the speaker’s experiences at City Academy, their secondary schools, and beyond. This year, the Class of 2021 was honored to hear from Michael Lee, Jr. ’14 (Westminster Christian Academy ’20, University of Cincinnati ’24). Read his words for the Class of 2021 below:
City Academy’s 2021 Sixth Grade Graduation Alumni Words of Wisdom
Good evening outstanding scholars, my name is Michael Lee Jr. I graduated City Academy in 2014, and went on to Westminster Christian Academy. I am currently attending The University of Cincinnati- College Conservatory of Music, to receive a BFA in Musical Theatre. Hearing myself say those words fills me with a joy that is difficult to put into words because I have come so far from where I began, and it all started for me right here. I’d like to take a moment to personally tell you all how proud I am of you for the countless hours spent on homework, the diligence in the classroom, the knowledge gained, the fun that was had, and the lifelong memories that were made. You all made it! And you should be so proud of yourselves.
At the 2021 Virtual Annual Luncheon, we were thrilled to present alumna Najaah Muhammad ’15 (MICDS ’21) with this year’s Brightman Award. The Brightman Award is named for John Brightman, one of City Academy’s original board members and supporters. John was integral in the start of the school, and this award, including a $1,000 scholarship, honors and carries on his legacy. Najaah is brilliant, determined, and a fierce community advocate, and a wonderful example of the long-lasting impact of City Academy. Read Najaah’s speech below for more on what this award, and City Academy, mean to her.
Dear City Academy Family,
I am writing to share that Nikki Doughty has accepted a position at Washington University’s Institute for School Partnership. Nikki will be “graduating” from City Academy at the end of this school year, after 15 amazing years.
At Washington University, Nikki will continue the important work of removing barriers to transform lives through exceptional education, by working with multiple schools and districts. This will no doubt make our community and region stronger. I am pleased that Nikki’s new role at WU will allow her to continue to help broaden City Academy’s impact by building a collaboration between two amazing institutions, City Academy and Washington U, and helping implement our Strategic Initiative of building an institute for educators. Like our City Academy graduates, Nikki is fully prepared for her next exciting challenge. Nikki shares about her next steps in the video below.
Jeff Horwitz, our Interim Principal, will be our Interim Head of School for the 2021-22 academic year. We will not fill the Principal role. A search process will begin late this summer to identify our next Head of School.
This year’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King is especially timely as our country tries to heal from the recent events in Washington and all of the challenges that we faced in 2020.
While dedicating his life for racial equality and justice for all, Dr. King was also an optimist who, even in the darkest of times, saw a bright future for our country and all its people. In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, Dr. King said this, “I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history.”
Engaging hands-on experiences are a hallmark of City Academy’s STEAM program, and our faculty are finding creative ways to make that possible during virtual learning. This week in 4th grade science, our scholars dissected squids as part of the biology curriculum. Each student was given their own specimen to dissect, following along with 3rd and 4th grade science teacher Ann Luciani on Zoom.
Before the dissection, students were asked to draw a squid from memory. This helped them identify questions they had about the structure and form of the animal, which they were then able to answer during the dissection. On Monday, students completed an external examination of squids, and on Tuesday they completed the internal examination.
Alison Slama – Onsite 3- and 4-Year-Old Teacher
Alison came to City Academy in 2019 to launch the first three- and four-year-old classroom in the newly expanded Early Childhood Center. Alison has over 10 years of experience in early childhood education.
Alison is a St. Louis local and a graduate of MICDS. She went on to earn a BA in Psychology and Early Childhood Education and a Teaching Certificate from Webster University, and a MA in Special Education, also from Webster University.
In her free time, Alison enjoys hiking, playing and watching sports, and spending time with her friends and family.
Last Friday was our last day of virtual learning for our graduating sixth graders, and while graduation has been delayed, we still found ways to celebrate the class of 2020!
Teachers and staff visited graduates to deliver yard signs, mementos and gifts to each sixth grader, and even got to see most of them (from a safe distance).