Ridgefield Academy graduated 20 members of the Class of 2018 in an indoor ceremony on

Wednesday, June 13. Five grads were “lifers,” having attended RA since kindergarten.

The graduates were not the only ones celebrated.

Ridgefield Academy also said goodbye to its Head of School James P. Heus after nearly two decades of service. Two gifts were bestowed to Heus in his name. First was the school’s James P. Heus Distinguished Service Award, named in Heus’ honor and presented to him for his legacy of high academic standards, service to others, and building a true sense of community. “Those imperatives, coupled with his love of children, sense of humor, and caring approach, have made RA the institution it is today,” RA said in a press release.

The second gift was the renaming of the existing athletic turf field. Howard Turner, founding board chair and current RA trustee, said to Heus, “The field where you have been so instrumental in the physical education of our children will now be known as Heus Field.”

Each graduate proceeded to the stage with his or her “kindergarten buddy,” in RA tradition, and spoke to the audience about their RA journey, its meaning to them, and how it has prepared them to approach future academic and life experiences.

The ceremony concluded as the Class of 2018 and Heus, accompanied by RA’s kindergarten class, came back down the aisle. Each graduate and Heus rang the Patriot Bell for the last time, signifying the end of their days at RA and the beginning of new life adventures.

“I have long said truly great schools with traditions like RA’s are so important that we will protect and secure them at all costs,” Heus said. “We have created something very special and today is the celebration of this amazing class sitting behind me. The lessons we have taught them have been understood, trusted and enjoyed. To the Class of 2018, I want you to go forth, share your talents, and challenge your mind, body and spirit. We invite you to come back soon and share with us every extraordinary thing you have done.”

RA’s Class of 2018 will go on to attend private day schools (five), local public high schools (six), and boarding schools (nine). Congratulations were extended to all RA graduates as well as best wishes for their futures.

Ridgefield Academy, founded in 1975, is a coeducational, independent day school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. For more information, visit ridgefieldacademy.org.