Riggs Nursery School Celebrates Children at Year-End Graduation



The 2016 Austen Riggs Nursery School graduation speeches.Though it was a cool and windy day, there was a great deal of warmth in the large tent that housed the Austen Riggs Nursery School graduation on June 9, 2016. Parents, caregivers and members of the Riggs community congregated, while festive music filled the air and a slideshow of pictures from the school year flashed by on a large projection screen.  

Nursery School Director Ilana Ackerman, MSW, took to the podium and began the program, “We have shared an exciting journey together, and we’re so happy to celebrate with you today.” Over the course of the next hour, several speakers addressed the crowd, gave thanks, reflected on the past school year and imagined the bright futures ahead for all of the nursery school graduates. 

In his remarks Medical Director/CEO Andrew J. Gerber, MD, PhD, noted that “the Austen Riggs Nursery School has a long and illustrious history as part of our Center – for 50 years this has been integrated in and meaningful to our thinking about who human beings are . . . I don’t know of any other program in the world like it, and I think we’re all lucky to be part of it.” 

Lead Teacher Cara Williams reminded us all that “children have a lot to teach us – they let us know when we’ve got it right, and they let us know when we’ve got it wrong. We, as adults, need to listen closely.”

Two of the teachers’ aides from this school year gave humorous and heartfelt speeches about how, in their work together, they helped the children learn and develop and vice versa.

Once the speeches concluded, the class of 10 children walked into the tent and delighted the audience with a medley of songs that welcomed out-loud participation. Each child received a “moving-up” certificate in recognition of the year’s work and play. 

The Austen Riggs Nursery School will hold a summer session in July and will welcome children back at the start of the next school year. For more information or to inquire about enrollment, visit: www.austenriggs.org/austen-riggs-nursery-school.

Remarks by Medical Director/CEO Andrew J. Gerber, MD, PhD

Remarks by Lead Teacher Cara Williams

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