In 2002, The Out-of-Door Academy created its inaugural Convocation ceremony as a way to honor the senior class as the leaders of the school community and to acknowledge the responsibility this represents during their final year at Out-of-Door. Since then, the ceremony has evolved into a beloved annual school tradition that includes the kindergarten class, celebrating these young students at the beginning of their educational journey at ODA.
This week ODA came together on both campuses for two special Convocation events. Thursday morning on the Siesta Key Campus, all of the Lower School students assembled in the Dart Family Pavilion and sang a senior-themed version of "Firework" as their gift to the Class of 2024. Following the assembly, seniors and their new kindergarten buddies spent time getting to know one another in the Thunder Hut before enjoying a picnic lunch and heading off in groups to play on Coach Young Field and the playgrounds.
This morning, seniors and kindergarteners entered Petrik Thunderdome together for the Convocation ceremony. The seniors made their entrance hand-in-hand with their buddies in front of their assembled parents, educators, and Middle and Upper School students. Each division and ODA's auxiliary groups presented their gift, Coach Rob Hollway, Jr., gave an energetic speech, and Head of School Deb Otey gave her own gift and made her moving closing remarks. Following the ceremony, seniors, their buddies, their siblings, and parents gathered for a casual reception in the Pavilion that included sweet treats and plenty of photographs to memorialize the event.
Congratulations to the Class of 2024 and Class of 2037 - we're so proud of you!