Congratulations to our 2024 Graduates! 

This year, Oak Learners celebrated our inaugural Graduating Class and we are thrilled to wish Henry and Jackson the very best of success in the next phase of their educational journey.

Graduation was celebrated at the Cellar Door Restaurant, next door to the Lake Shore Campus. Thank you to everyone to helped make this a night to remember!

Hi everyone, as you may know, I’m Henry. I came to Oak Learners in September for my grade eight year and to be a part of the very first graduating class. If you were to ask anyone at Oak Learners what my favourite things are, they would tell you OnePiece, Fortnite, Brawl Stars, soccer and the best team, Manchester City, hockey and the Leafs. What they might not know is that I’m a little brother, a big brother, a son, a grandson, a cousin, a friend, and someone who doesn’t always like change. But here we are, at graduation.

When I say “graduation” we all know that what I really mean is promotion, because that’s what Jackson and I are doing:, we are being promoted to grade 9 and a whole new experience in High School. Whenever we begin new things, we also say goodbye to others. When I look back at grade 8 and my time at here at Oak Learners, I will think of it as the year that made things possible. The year that I had the most fun, and the year that my classmates were my friends too.

When I first came to Oak Learners in September, I didn’t know anyone except Jackson—and really, had only talked to him. Now I talk to everyone! The difference between the beginning of the year, to now, is really big. At the start of the year to about midway through the year, I didn’t want to go outside for outdoor ed. Mishka made me learn (yes, made me), that it is good to go outside often, and that it is fun, and not boring!, So this second half of the year I really tried my hardest to not ask to go back inside early, but to stay outside on the walk, and keep an open., I think I did pretty well on doing that (wink). 

I’m really glad to have gone to Oak Learners this year. It has made a very big difference in my life. This year has taught me to work as a team more, to listen to others, and that there is more than one way to approach a problem, and especially, to feel confident.  I would like to thank Mishka for believing in me, Daniela for getting me to see things differently, Tenzin for talking about soccer–because there is no one else that likes sports here–Kelly for making Oak Learners possible, the rest of the teaching staff for being there for me, and for my classmates who I now also consider my friends. And most of all, Maya. Maya’s cute little voice and the way that she would reach up for hugs and knew just who to go to depending on what she wanted. She helped me to see how kindness and affection make such a difference in feeling like I belong, and that I have so much to offer. Maya, I hope you love your socks and that you remember me!

I love how at OakLearners, our differences didn’t make us outcasts, but instead were celebrated–even things that always made us laugh, like Daniela saying Jam instead of Ham! To my fellow graduate, Jackson, thanks for all the Bubble Tea, and game nights. To the other seniors: Erin, I will miss beating you in chess matches and Ollie, thanks for making me laugh. Hopefully this is not a goodbye, but more, I’ll see you soon, because I’m not done with Oak Learners just yet and hope to keep you all a part of the next step into High School.. 

As the writer Beau Taplin said, Sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful.”

Good evening all, thank you so much for coming tonight. In case you don’t know, my name is Jackson and I am graduating Grade 8. I’ve been at Oak Learners for 3 years.I would like to now thank people and share some of my favourite memories from this year.

What I will remember most is my teachers, cool field trips, like the cherry blossoms at High Park, the grad trip and Richard for teaching me cool stuff and doing experiments with us. On our grad trip, we had a great time going on the Ridge-Runner Mountain Coaster. I also liked going to restaurants. I loved going to Toronto Island and swimming, being greeted by Maya every morning and going to the Humber Arboretum. This year we watched the chefs at Bombay On The Lake prepare a meal for us. I had fun doing lessons with Richard. I also liked when Tenzin brought in momos for us. We thought it was funny when Isaac got a virus on his computer because of a typo.The highlight of the year was the grad trip for sure.

Although I will miss a lot of things, some things I won’t miss, such as my school computer that is missing the C and M keys. I think my typing speed has gone down significantly because of this. I will definitely NOT miss long division.
However, I will miss my friends, MAYA, outdoor time, experiments with Richard, the Oak Learners Mobile, bubble tea after school, going to Samuel Smith Park and the lake, being able to scooter to school, and my dreamy 2 block commute. But what I will miss the most is, Mishka, she is a great teacher.

I would like to thank my mom and dad, for helping me with homework. Thank you Dad for emergency drop-offs of supplies like my contacts and dry clothes. Thank you Nana for my after school visits and for feeding me. Thank you to Maya for always being the most adorable person in class, after me of course, for snuggling with me and for entertaining me endlessly.
This year has taught me to do long division and distributive property. I would like to thank Richard and Mishka for being patient with me.

In conclusion, thank you Oak Learners for giving me the roots I need to start high school.


Kelly Farrell

Kelly Farrell is the Founder and Director of Oak Learners. She is dedicated to supporting learners of all ages and abilities reach their goals and love the learning journey. Kelly’s philosophy of education is based in the understanding that every child has the capacity to excel and succeed when they are given the tools and taught the skills to help them on their journey.
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