PCS celebrates graduating sixth-graders

PCS celebrates graduating sixth-graders
Posted on 06/10/2021
Teachers, staff, family, and friends gathered to celebrate graduating Quincy and Indian Valley sixth-graders in two June ceremonies. To mark completion of elementary school, two Plumas Charter School learning centers held sixth-grade graduations at the beginning of June. Teachers and staff acknowledged students’ hard work and resilience, especially during COVID, highlighted individual students’ characteristics, and provided advice and encouragement for the future.

Quincy Learning Center
Family, friends, teachers, and staff gathered at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds in Quincy for a breezy Quincy Learning Center sixth-grade graduation. Watch the video below.

Site Director Patrick Joseph asked the students what graduation means and pointed out that it can be an end, a beginning, and a transition. “All this is building, brick by brick, in preparation” for junior high, high school, and college, he said.

He also spoke of the additional learning that took place this year: beyond school subjects, students had to learn to adapt to different learning environments and changing guidelines due to the pandemic. “You all performed magnificently,” he said.

Sixth-grade teacher Cindy Thackeray then joined Joseph on stage. “I want you guys to know that I have loved being your teacher,” she said. “This is a celebration of all the hard work that you have put in this year and the lessons that you have learned and the strategies that you have used in preparation for the next step in your journey.”

Thackeray pointed out that the class as a whole had developed perseverance, resilience, and flexibility. She then introduced each of her 12 students, presented him or her with a certificate and a “survival kit” of gifts, and acknowledged the individual achievements and characteristics that she appreciates about that student.

She read out students’ expressions of gratitude to their family, friends, and teachers, and shared their hobbies and goals for the future. One theme for this adventurous class was a common aspiration to go skydiving!

“Now that I am moving into seventh grade I am very happy to get new experiences but I am sad to leave old ones behind,” wrote graduate Jakodi Gallagher. “Once again I want to thank all these people for helping me on this journey that just keeps going.”

Greenville Learning Center
The third annual Greenville Learning Center sixth-grade graduation was held at the rodeo grounds in Taylorsville, where a parent’s flatbed trailer — decorated by parent volunteers — served as a stage.

GLC Site Coordinator Andre Essue and fifth- and sixth-grade teacher Jennifer Van Acker offered remarks. Van Acker then introduced the seven graduates and shared their favorite memories and highlights of elementary school.

“Even though this year was mostly about adapting to the ‘new normals’ such as the daily temperature checks, continuous mask use and the practicing of social distancing, I feel that we still made some pretty amazing memories!” said Van Acker. Some favorites included the November polar bear plunge in Wolf Creek, laughing with friends, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Van Acker also shared her students’ plans for the future: the graduating sixth-graders plan to become a pilot, a Lego master, a construction worker, a professional athlete, a hoverboard designer, a game developer, and a landscaper.

The students then delivered speeches reflecting their understanding of Plumas Charter School’s core values: respect, compassion, responsiveness, and accountability. (Read the speeches below.)

“As you progress onward to middle school, many things will change, and many things will remain the same,” said Van Acker. “You will grow and change and I believe that each of you has the potential to achieve great things. I am so proud of each and every one of you; you worked so hard to be where you are.”

To learn more about Plumas Charter School — which also operates learning centers in Taylorsville and Chester — click the About PCS tab.

By Ingrid Burke, Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]

Quincy Learning Center sixth-grade graduation “survival kit”
Environmental Science and Student Exploration (ESSE) stickers “to remind you to enjoy this beautiful area that we live in and to remind you to protect it”

Thinking Putty to remind students to think decisions through and then trust themselves

Water bottle: “stay hydrated — it’s important”

Stress ball to remind students that “Miss Cindy says don’t stress out too much. Life is about learning lessons, and this is our laboratory.”

Sweet and Sour Nerds, because “as we go through life we have to take the sweet with the sour, but look for the good in each situation”

Two pencils: “As you make plans for the future, use a pencil.” In case the first one is misplaced, there’s a backup.

Magic Ring, because they are fun to play with but more fun when shared with others: “Remember to make connections. Remember the connections you’ve made this year and cherish them and nurture them and continue to make connections no matter where you are and what you’re doing.”

Greenville Learning Center sixth-grade graduation student speeches
Holden Cook: In the wise words of Albert Einstein, “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”

Hi, my name is Holden Cook; this is my third year at Greenville Learning Center. Over the years at GLC we have learned the four core values: respect, compassion, responsiveness, accountability. The core value I’m going to be talking about is respect.

Respect is valuing people and their good choices. For example, one way to show respect is to be engaged with them; don’t talk behind their back. Also, to show deference to those older than you or in a position over you. You should show respect because it shows you are teachable. It also shows what you consider important because we respect sacred things like the American flag, God, first responders, and the military.

In the future I look forward to earning respect by being honest, hardworking, friendly, and wise.

Finn Linford: In a quote attributed to Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Hi, my name is Finn Linford and I have attended Greenville Learning Center for two years. The four core values of Plumas Charter School are respect, compassion, responsiveness, and accountability. I chose to talk about responsiveness because I think it’s important. Responsiveness has to do with how you react. You have the choice to react positively or negatively to any situation. I think it is important to be able to react quickly and positively.

I also feel that responsiveness means to respond to others. If you do not respond to someone, then they may feel that you do not respect them; respect is another important core value. When you treat someone with respect you show that you care about them.

In life, there will always be challenges, but you can overcome them by choosing to respond with a positive attitude. In the future, I will strive to live my life responsively by showing others respect and reacting quickly to life’s challenges.
Liam Moore: Someone great once said, “No matter how educated, talented, rich or cool you believe you are; how you treat people ultimately tells all.”

Hi, my name is Liam Moore and I have attended Greenville Learning Center for two years. Over the last couple of years I have learned about the four core values. They are respect, compassion, responsiveness, and accountability. The core value that I can relate to the most is compassion. I believe compassion means to show others you care. One way you can show compassion is by motivating others to believe in themselves.

In the future I plan on practicing this specific act of kindness towards my peers, teachers, and my family.

Conner Pew: A wise person once said, “Always hold yourself accountable before you are held accountable.”

Hi, my name is Conner Pew and I have been at Greenville Learning Center for four years. Plumas Charter School has four core values. They are respect, compassion, responsiveness, and accountability. The core value I’m going to talk about today is accountability.

I think accountability is one of the most important core values because you will need it throughout your lifetime. In the future, I will always use accountability to try my best in my life.

Alivia Schramel: In the words of Will Craig, “Accountability is the glue that bonds commitment to results.”

Hi, my name is Alivia Schramel. In four years at Greenville Learning Center (GLC), we have discussed the four core values of Plumas Charter School. Today, the core value I’m going to talk about is accountability.

Accountability means to take responsibility for your actions. For example, one way to show accountability is to turn in homework consistently. Turning in homework consistently and on time helps get decent grades. Getting decent grades is important because you will develop better habits. Better habits lead to more opportunities. More opportunities lead to a better future. I look forward to my future years at Plumas Charter School.

Matthew Tucker: In the sage words of Hussein Nishah, “Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given.”

Hi, my name is Matthew Tucker and I have been at the Greenville Learning Center for three years. We have learned the four core values. The core value I have chosen is respect. Respect reminds me of the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

In the future, I hope to remember the Golden Rule when meeting new teachers and making new friends in middle school.

Samantha Hymas: In the words of Courtney Lynch, “Leaders inspire accountability through their ability to accept responsibility before they place blame.”

Hello, my name is Samantha Hymas and this is my first year at Greenville Learning Center. During the school year we have learned the importance of each core value. The four core values are respect, compassion, responsiveness, and accountability. Today I’m going to talk about accountability.  

I chose accountability because there are many things I will be responsible for in the future such as financial and family responsibility. I feel that accountability means to own your own actions while using your own instincts to solve your problems. I also believe that you should always finish what you started.

I plan to implement this core value by preparing for next year’s middle school social and academic responsibilities.

This concludes our class’s graduation speeches. Thank you for taking the time to listen.

In the photo: Quincy Learning Center sixth-grader Santiago Mendez receives his certificate and gift bag from teacher Cindy Thackeray and Site Director Patrick Joseph at the 2021 sixth-grade graduation ceremony at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds. Photo by Ingrid Burke

Watch the Quincy Learning Center graduation on our YouTube channel!