Last Tuesday, June 13, RA graduated 39 members of the Class of 2017 in a sunny, outdoor ceremony held in the school\u2019s Graduation Garden. This year\u2019s graduating class was the largest in the Academy\u2019s history and fifteen of them were \u201clifers\u201d meaning they have attended RA since their kindergarten year. Graduates from Ridgefield are Tigerlily Jensen, Will Baker, Sophia Puchall, Rex Jensen, Sophie Atkins, Chris Cordano, Liza Baranets, Neil Sachdeva, Ella Norwitt, and Zoie Bernstein. As with all things at Ridgefield Academy, tradition runs deep and it was evident during commencement. Each graduate processed to the stage with his or her \u201cKindergarten Buddy\u201d and spoke to the audience about their RA journey, what it meant to them, and how prepared they feel to conquer future academic and life experiences. Jim Heus, RA Head of School addressed the audience by saying, \u201cThe Class of 2017 is poised to make a difference. They are bright, outspoken, determined, and service minded. But what impressed us most was that their leadership came so naturally. This is a collection of joiners, volunteers, of students willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. They have what so many call \u00a0\u201cthe glue factor\u201d \u2013 the ability to bring others together to stick to the chore at hand and accomplish something special.\u201d Graduation concluded as each member of the Class of 2017 recessed down the aisle and rang the Patriot Bell for the last time, signifying the end of their days at RA and the beginning of new life adventures. Mr. Heus concluded, \u201cWe know it\u2019s time for our students to move on. They have the skills and the confidence to go out and reinvent themselves, be their best selves, and become an integral part of their new community.\u201d RA\u2019s Class of 2017 will go on to attend independent day schools (nineteen), local public high schools (thirteen), and boarding schools (seven). Congratulations to all RA graduates and best wishes for futures filled with success. Ridgefield Academy is a coeducational, independent day school for students in grades Kindergarten thru Grade 8. Founded in 1975, the school cultivates a love of learning and preparedness for advanced academics. For more information, please visit www.ridgefieldacademy.org.