ODA Celebrates its Annual Convocation

ODA Celebrates its Annual Convocation

As ODA’s annual Convocation has recently ended, the students and faculty are still filled with excitement from the success of the event. Each year, Convocation takes place in September to honor the new senior class. The school honors the journey they have taken to their last year at ODA, as well as all of the exciting things that are to come for the rest of senior year.

The ODA community has set a traditional format for the event of Convocation that is followed through every year. The seniors all walk in to the gym, filled with all of the students and faculty at ODA, with their Kindergarden buddies.This grand entrance is remembered by many as the cutest part of the day.

Once everyone is settled, each grade from Pre-k to 12th presents a personalized, heartfelt gift to the senior class. However, this year a new twist was taken to this tradition. The lower school grades, besides the kindergarteners who preformed their own song, divided into two groups to sing for the seniors. These songs are always fun for the audience and seniors to hear, and they always put so much work into them.

One of the favorite gifts of Convocation is the slide show of the seniors created by the juniors. The faculty also presents their own special gift to the seniors, which this year was a tapestry to paint for the arts building to recognize the creativity of this senior class. At the end of the ceremony, the students gather for the annual picture, a sometimes long and hot affair. This year, the school took two pictures. One for its own tradition of marking the day and another to share with All Faiths Food Bank who will be the recipients of the all-school canned food drive that is also part of our tradition.

This year at the canned food drive, the school gathered 1135 pounds of food, beating our previous year’s donation of 840 pounds. Middle School teacher Michelle Corley shares that “this year our donation will provide 1,362 meals” for food insecure families in Sarasota.

While Convocation is anticipated by each member of the school, it is especially significant for seniors. Some say the day is something they have each looked forward to since they started at ODA.

Senior Zoe Genkin says, “I┬álove Convocation because it’s so much fun seeing all the grades do something for the seniors, and now being a senior it’s even more exciting!”

Convocation symbolizes many things for the senior class, the leadership they hold over the rest of the school, the beginning of their final year in the ODA community, and not to mention the induction of their senior privileges. Finally, we are able to have our designated parking spaces, go out to lunch on Tuesdays, and walk across the quad during the school day.

This year, it was finally my turn to be honored at Convocation, and I speak on behalf of my entire class when I say how much we appreciate each and every member of the school who puts this day together.