Convocation is an Out-of-Door tradition that began in 2002 as a way to acknowledge the responsibilities of the senior class as the leaders of the school community. In 2004, Convocation became an all-school event where each class participated in the ceremony. This year, students in grades 6-12 gathered to honor these student body leaders. For photos from Convocation, visit our Facebook photo album. Meet the Class of 2022 as they process in this short clip from the ceremony.
The inaugural Convocation in 2002 focused on the senior class signing the School’s honor pledge in front of the Middle School and Upper School student body. This symbolic gesture reinforced the importance of ODA’s core values in campus life and beyond. This year’s senior class continued the tradition, presenting a signed honor scroll to Interim Head of School, Mr. Jim Connor, during the ceremony.
Over the years, the Convocation ceremony has evolved to include every division. This year, Lower School students painted and planted miniature pots. “In art class we decorated pots for all of you. Each pot has been decorated to represent something about ODA,” said Devyn McGrew '31. “The first graders planted succulents in each pot with love. These plants represent our focus on your growth over the years here at ODA.”
Middle Schoolers made a donation to The Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County in honor of the Class of 2022. In addition, they are holding a book collection to benefit the children served by the organization. Ninth graders primed the Senior Rock in readiness for this year’s creative seniors, and sophomores painted the senior parking spots in preparation for their annual decorating days. The combined Upper School student body also gave the gift of a Senior Carnival Day. “This Senior Carnival Day will be filled with fun activities, food, music, and an opportunity for the senior class to celebrate together here on campus,” said Emma Bonacuse ’23.
Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Banks then took the stage and announced the faculty and staff gift of a "green wall." This eco-friendly installation will house plants that grow and adapt to their environment. “It will grow as it is nurtured, and it will establish strong roots that will help build the foundation for future sprouts. It is like a personification of this class of seniors,” said Mrs. Murphy. “They have laid down roots at ODA that will remain long after they have graduated.”
The final gifts to the Class of 2022 came from Mr. Connor. First, he offered a gift of insight and patience to the seniors, as they are completing one leg of their educational journey and about to begin another. The second, was the gift of entertainment. Over the duration of the school year, students will enjoy musicians and talented circus performances live on campus, accompanied by ice cream trucks for a special, sweet treat each month.
As a complement to the day's celebration, students, faculty, and staff on both campuses donated cans of soup for a service project. The donations will be taken to The Food Bank of Manatee for distribution to those in need.
We congratulate the Class of 2022 as they begin this year with the end in sight.