On Wednesday, November 19, 2008, Claire Peckham was granted a diploma by the Clearwater School Meeting. Claire is our first graduate who has attended Clearwater since she was 5, beginning the same year the school opened.
Her presentation was attended by all ages of the Clearwater extended community—students, past graduates, parents, and life-long friends of Claire. She stood in front of a wall of her recent photography, and displayed paintings, collages and books she has created over the years on a nearby table. The reading of her paper was followed by a performance of three Hula dances—a discipline that she embodies, loves and has studied deeply.
As I watched the multiple dimensions she used to share herself with the community and demonstrate her accomplishments, I was deeply moved. There is a complexity of growing up, and a mystery of education, that cannot always be explained in words—but can be occasionally grasped in moments. Claire’s presentation was one of those moments.
So many of our youngest students intently and silently watched the presentation and asked Claire questions about her dancing, life and future plans. The coming together of our community to witness and mark Claire's transition speaks to the power and influence that each student brings to our community.
I was honored to be a member of her Advisory Committee and impressed by her desire to take in feedback and reflect on her choice to graduate. I am also honored to count myself as Claire’s friend. The grace she brought to her presentation reflects the very high integrity Claire brings to all that she undertakes in her life. We will all miss Claire and wish her the best in the next steps of her life. Copies of her diploma paper are available through the school office.