On Friday, Oct. 4, The Summit Country Day School hosted its annual naturalization ceremony in Flannery Gymnasium. This year, the Hon. Timothy S. Black, U.S. District Judge, presided over the ceremony where 99 people representing 44 countries were sworn in. Since 2013, 535 people have become citizens at The Summit.
The point of Summit hosting the ceremony is to impress upon the students what a privilege it is to grow up in America and how important it is to be an inclusive culture. These new citizens are reaching for an American dream that they are already living.
“This ceremony puts a global face on our local community,” says Upper School religion teacher Stephanie Duggan. “It is awe inspiring to see a group of such hard-working, diverse people pledge allegiance to our country. They are perfect examples for our students of what determination and dreams can do.”
Students acknowledge the array of citizen candidates, and their families and friends make a huge impression on them.
Junior Bry Woodard was impressed by the diversity. “It was cool to see all of the different cultures coming together under one roof to celebrate each other and the achievements of the prospective citizens.”
Hosting the ceremony aligns with The Summit’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and underscores the part of the school’s mission that calls on everyone to develop their God-given spiritual, intellectual, physical, social and artistic talents and use them to make the world a better place.
“We teach our students that diversity is good,” says Head of School Rich Wilson. “We embrace new ideas, perspectives and customs. We find that when many voices are heard, it makes us stronger. It makes us better. At The Summit Country Day School, we have more than 1,000 kids in our school, and 45 of those children have citizenship outside the country. They bring a lot of teaching and learning to all our students.”
In closing, Judge Black issued a call to action to each Summit student present at the ceremony. He asked the students to realize that their time to affect change and improve the world is coming soon.
“We count on you to lead productive lives,” he said. “It’s almost time for you to lead. With your Summit education, you are well on your way.”