flowerssmall nicaart_014smallGentle • thoughtful• gentle soul • creative • artistic • a sweet girl• confident • observant • a good artist • gentle and kind • generous • interested • all smiles • kind • lots of ideas • artistic • quietly sweet • has a lot to say • sweet nature • very helpful and smart • #1 treasure collector • good team player • always full of smiles and sunbeams • quiet • sweet and diligent

From Veronica’s classmatesDonutsSmall

Dear Mom

p7020030smallby Sam, Feb 27 2008

Dear Mom,

Do you know what I’ll do on a star-filled night?
I’ll take a picter and give it to you.

Do you know what I’ll do when you sick?
I’ll make some tea and buy some flowers and give them to you.

Do you know what I’ll do when you’re sad?
I’ll play a happy song on the piano.

Do you know what I’ll do when you drive?
I’ll be quiet so you can concentrate.

robert, ana maria & babysmallDo you know what I’ll do in the spring?
I’ll pick some flowers and give them to you.

Do you know what I’ll do when you’re stressed out?
I’ll give you a massage.

Do you know what I’ll do when it’s your birthday?
I’ll make a card and give it to you.

Do you know what I’ll do when you’re upset?
I’ll give you a hug and a kiss.


About Angels and About Trees


by Mary OliverNica

Where do angels
 fly in the firmament,
and how many can dance
 on the head of a pin?

Well, I don’t care
 about that pin dance,
what I know is that
 they rest, sometimes,
in the tops of the trees

and you can see them,
 or almost see them,
or, anyway, think: what a
 wonderful idea.

Sam and Nica, HalloweenI have lost as you and
others have possibly lost a
 beloved one,
and wonder, where are they now?

The trees, anyway, are
 miraculous, full of
angels (ideas); even
 empty they are a
good place to look, to put
 the heart at rest—all those
leaves breathing the air, so

peaceful and diligent, and certainlyNica's Family
 ready to be
the resting place of
 strange, winged creatures
that we, in this world, have loved. nicaart_026medium


Pic1 pic2pic3pic6 A poem by Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breath, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their radiance,
fall away.

We are not so much maddened
as we are reduced
to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whispered to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

Graduation Speech

By Linda Howard, Counselor at JLS Middle School

Good evening distinguished guests, the JLS Staff, parents and family members, and the 8th grade class of 2013.

After 540 days, twenty Kleenex boxes, dozens of miles walked or run on campus (this includes running the mile in P.E.), eating hundreds of school lunches and brunches, twelve dances, and listening to thousands of words from your teachers, we find our selves gathered a final time to celebrate the passage from middle school to high school. I have had the opportunity and honor of being your counselor for the past 3 years.

This is my last time to talk to you as your counselor. Listen, I am going to tell you something important….

Each one of you has gifts to offer the world.

As you enter an ever more expanding world of high school and beyond, you will have the opportunity to act with integrity or not. On a daily basis, you can make small decisions to do what is right such as treating a person with respect and standing up for someone who is being treated unjustly. Make kindness and respect for others a habit. MLK conveyed this message by saying, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” You will never go wrong when you choose to act with integrity.  Standing up for what is just is a gift that each one of you can give.

DSCN3138-STonight I’d like to honor a young person whose words and actions inspired the people who knew her. Samantha Howard would have been seated here tonight with the 8th grade graduating class, but she passed away between her 6th and 7th grade year. During the 6th grade she joined and was active in the BeTCha student advisory group. This group develops ideas and creates activities to promote a positive school climate.

Sam’s kindness, energy and activism inspired her friends to join BeTCha and continue the good work she started. The way Samantha lived her life was her gift to all who knew her.

Acting with kindness and respect toward others sets a powerful example. It is a gift that each one of you can give.

I would like to read a poem that Samantha enjoyed when she was only eleven years old. The poem is entitled  “Love is a Place”

Love is a place
And through that place of love
moves with brightness of peace
all places.


ee cummings

JLS has been your place for the past 3 years. You may not have always realized it, but you have moved through a place of love. Your teachers, administrators and counselor have always loved and cared for you. We continue to wish you the very best as you journey to the next place.

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…. the presentation of the promotion certificates for the class of 2013.