Freedom, Independence Shape School Memories

Deer Path Middle School eighth grader challenges classmates to make a difference.


By Katelyn Lochiatto

How can I possibly sum up all the laughter, happiness, and fun that I have experienced in the past two years, in this one short speech?  When I look back on my District 67 elementary years, I have nothing but fond memories.

I moved to Lake Forest in third grade and became a proud Everett Eagle. There were always so many people ready to help me memorize my math facts or cut and paste pictures onto my projects. When I came to DPM, I felt a new sense of freedom and independence that has helped create so many outstanding memories.

From ice-skating in Mrs. Testo’s backyard to running all over Lake Forest during team scavenger hunt, I can honestly I have had so much fun with my school “family.”

The blue team has definitely become my second family. Mrs. Testo is the loving mother, Mrs. Perillo the reliable sister, Mr. Gruber the entertaining brother, and Mr. Truding the guiding father.

After listening to Mrs. Testo talk about her family as if they were the stars of the next big reality TV show, I feel like I know her kids better than some of my own closest friends. Mrs. Testo has one of the biggest hearts of anybody I have ever met. Mrs. Perillo has always been there to support me when needed, and I have learned more math from her in these past two years than all other years combined.

Watching Mr. Gruber blow stuff up like he’s Bill Nye the Science Guy is just so entertaining that there are no words to describe it! His passion for his job is obvious to all and he is committed to meeting every student’s needs. Mr. Truding challenges us to achieve our full potential – and who will ever forget his blank stare that we have all seen too often!

I also must mention our chorus teacher, Mr. Gray. He believed that our choir could do anything that we put our minds to. He also always provided us with a fun time; whether we were in class or exploring all the great parks that Disney had to offer. I have grown up with my blue team family and other teachers, and will always have fond memories to remember and to appreciate.

When all blue team students are sewn together, we make a terrific quilt. Each patch represents a different personality that collectively makes this fantastic comforting quilt that I like to call my blue team. I have formed so many strong bonds with my blue team peers too!

There are those who spice up the classes with enthusiasm and fun. There are also the caring ones who always go out of their way to help others. There are the artistic ones who bring color to our lives. Then there are the driven ones who always strive for perfection. There are also the quirky ones who are content with who they are and in return, make everybody else feel more comfortable too. Lastly, there are those who are still discovering who they are. I will cherish all of the friendships I have made at Deer Path.

This year has been like a challenging mountain climb; yet the blue team made it to the top. We stuck together and our teamwork provided us with the strength that we needed to persevere through some unique challenges. On behalf of my blue team I would like to thank our teachers and administrators for their guidance and support; and our parents for their understanding and love. You have all shaped us into being the great individuals that we are today.

In closing, I challenge you, my fellow graduates, to take everything that we have learned at Deerpath and strive to achieve your best and make a difference in your future. Congratulations and I wish you all the best.

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