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(From left) Kathleen Spangler, Mark Spangler and Jacob Spangler at Briarwood's Heart and Ring Ceremony.
The Heart and Ring Ceremony, where the juniors get their long awaited senior rings, is a Briarwood tradition. The Ceremony is packed with emotion as parents are asked to present the rings. Many express their love for their child and acknowledge their child’s accomplishments. It is not unusual for parents to shed a tear or two as they talk about their sons’ and daughters’ passion, moral values, and commitment, all wrapped up in short sweet speeches.
While parents bestow these special, beautiful rings, the Head of School, Mrs. Wills, gives each student a small, beautifully carved wooden heart. No two hearts are alike; each is as unique as the student to whom it is presented.
(From left) Lauren Amos, Ashleigh Ordeneaux and Jack Roche during the annual junior debate.
After the ring ceremony, the juniors hold their annual debate. This year’s topic centered on the second Industrial Revolution and the Captains of Industry or, as some have labeled them, the Robber Barons. The junior class was split into five groups: the Union, Big Business, Child Advocates, Immigrants, or the Government. These groups defended and explained their priorities, their goals, behaviors, and their political points of view during the 1880s. Students conducted careful research in order to accurately represent their assigned point of view. Consensus seemed to blame Big Business for the ills of the age, but the Government also got slammed for the treatment of children and immigrants. Students seemed to relish an opportunity to debate and to shine a spotlight on an opponent as they rifled through research notes to find that perfect defense or attack.
The day was, as it is every year, a time for understanding how far we have all come in acquiring the skills important for college and life ahead, and in realizing how much we owe to our parents and teachers in that journey.