‘Focus on process over product,’ Wootton tells Kent School grads

CHESTERTOWN — Kent School held its 55th graduation ceremony June 5 in the M.V. “Mike” Williams Gymnasium, with opening remarks from Head of School Nancy Mugele.

Devin Wootton ’98, assistant head of school and head of middle school at Harford Day School, delivered the keynote address at his alma mater.

To the 11 members of the Class of 2024, Wootton offered the following advice: “There is beauty in the uncertainty of growing up. As you get older, you may be surprised by what you remember. And, when things seem unattainable, remember all that you accomplished here — I mean, you survived middle school! Remember to focus on process over product. When you’re stuck, switch up your approach. When you’re overwhelmed, find joy in small steps forward.”

As part of the ceremony, several merit awards were presented.

Eleanor Owings was the recipient of the Brian B. Kane Jr. Award, given to a seventh grader who demonstrates determined effort, quality academic work and displays a helpful, cooperative and responsible attitude. This is the only award with a monetary value.

Brinley Leech received the Americanism Award as the student who demonstrates the qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service. The award was presented by the Sgt. Preston Ashley American Legion Post 228 in Rock Hall in recognition of Leech’s “outstanding servant leadership, compassion and solid friendship.”

Ella von Voss received the Joan C. Merriken Award for Excellence in Literature, given to a student who demonstrates a love of literature, appreciation of and sensitivity to the writer’s art, and ability to use reading as a wellspring for rich self-expression. She has been a finalist in the Kudner Leyon Creative Writing Contest several times and was the 2024 winner.

The Osprey Award, given to the student who best represents the most positive qualities of moral leadership and excellence to the Kent School community, was presented to Isabel Gerstmyer. She was described as kind, empathetic, a strong athlete and supportive team member.

To wrap up the ceremony, remarks were shared about each graduate as they were awarded their certificate of completion.

According to a news release, members of Kent School’s Class of 2024 will be attending the following secondary schools: Caravel Academy, The Gunston School, Queen Anne’s County High School and Saints Peter & Paul High School.

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