It’s Never “Goodbye”

Each year, Oak Grove students transitioning into high school go through a thoughtful process of reflection and anticipation, culminating in a written speech. Near the end of the school year, eighth grade students present their Gateway Speech to faculty, fellow students, and family.

High School is a hop, skip, and jump across campus from Middle School. It’s a well known space full of familiar and friendly faces, especially to those like Clio, who attended toddler program, preschool, and kindergarten on that side of campus. Now a rising ninth grader, the decision to hop to the other end of the Ojai Valley to attend the Thacher School did not come easily. Clio’s entire school experience has been at Oak Grove. Though she will be missed, our community always shares in our students’ enthusiasm when reaching for new adventures and challenges.

“Thank you for my childhood, it was perfect.”

This shortened version of Clio’s beautifully written and heartfelt Gateway Speech captures the story of her experience growing up at Oak Grove. There are so many special memories and the deep impact of a loving community of friends, family, and educators that have meant so much to us all.

After so many years, Clio’s daily presence will surely be missed. But as she says, “Am I really leaving? No.” Clio will always be a Lizard.