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We Believe We Can Fly – The KDES Class of 2013

Image: KDES 2013 honorees: Anisha Calhoun, Jason Cruz, Azahri Rilley, Chanice Coles, and Elizaveta Shanuarina cut their celebration cake following the Honorees Recognition Day ceremony held on June 5.

KDES 2013 honorees: Anisha Calhoun, Jason Cruz, Azahri Rilley, Chanice Coles, and Elizaveta Shanuarina cut their celebration cake following the Honorees Recognition Day ceremony held on June 5.

Image: “ASL Rocks” -- the KDES Class of 2013 gift to the school was an original work of art created by the students in the style of artist Jasper Johns.

“ASL Rocks” -- the KDES Class of 2013 gift to the school was an original work of art created by the students in the style of artist Jasper Johns.

The Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) community celebrated five honorees at a promotion ceremony. The honorees for this year were: Anisha Calhoun, Chanice Coles, Jason Cruz, Azahri Rilley, and Elizaveta Shanuarina. The theme of their celebration was, "We Believe We Can Fly."

The honorees chose Susan Schatz, who this past year led the transitional administrative team at KDES and is coordinator of Instructional Support, as their guest speaker. Schatz presented a video called “Continuing Your Story” in which she read a book on the accomplishments of the honorees so far. The video ended with Susan staring at the final page, which was marked “High School,” and said she was looking forward to reading more and having each of the honorees continue their story.

Honoree Chanice Coles gave a farewell speech entitled, "I Believe I Can Fly." She started as a shy three-year-old at KDES and became friends with classmate Jason Cruz, who became her best friend for 10 years. Coles admitted to being silly and a bit of a troublemaker until the eighth grade, when she learned to focus, work hard, and reach her goal of “making my mom and my family proud of me.”

The following awards were given to recognize outstanding achievement:

  • The Elizabeth Jackson Award: Jason Cruz
  • The Linwood Smith Award: Anisha Calhoun
  • ASL Learner's Award: Elizaveta Shanaurina
  • Wildcat Award: Chanice Coles and Azahri Rilley
  • Overcomer Award: Jason Cruz

Jason Cruz presented the class gift, an original piece of ASL handshape artwork created by the students with inspiration from the artist Jasper Johns. It was titled “ASL Rocks” and is a superimposition of the outlines of the handshapes for “A,” “S,” “L,” and “rock-n-roll.”

Other performances included an interpretation of the national anthem, a dance called "We are Strong," an ASL number story, and two song performances of "Without You" and "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday."

Vice president Ed Bosso and Susan Schatz presented the students with their graduation certificates. Family and friends gathered afterwards for a reception in the school cafeteria.