Jacksonville Country Day School 6th Grade Class of 2005 Produces TWO Valedictorians | Schools

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Jacksonville Country Day School 6th Grade Class of 2005 Produces TWO Valedictorians
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When a class graduates from elementary school, many of the students will go on to highly successful secondary school careers. Potentially one of those students could eventually become valedictorian when he or she finally becomes a high school senior.


But when two students from the same elementary class become valedictorians at their respective high schools, people take notice.
Ajay Shroff, who attended Jacksonville Country Day School from junior kindergarten and graduated from the sixth grade in 2005, is valedictorian at The Bolles School for 2011.
Tammie Tam also attended JCDS beginning in kindergarten and graduated from sixth grade in 2005. She is this year's valedictorian at Episcopal High School.
"I think I was prepared well academically, because it was easy to keep up with the level of schoolwork at Bolles after coming through JCDS," said Shroff.
Tam agrees. "Not only was I prepared for my new classes, but I also had a head start in learning about my passions," she said. "I knew I wanted to pursue music further, because JCDS also gave me the opportunities to explore it as well as other areas."
Both students recalled some inspirational moments while students at JCDS.
"I remember reading Edgar Allan Poe's 'Annabel Lee' with Mrs. Stabler," said Shroff. "I think that was the first time I ever actually liked a poem."
Ruthanne Stabler, now director of curriculum, was a language arts teacher for sixth grade in 2005, and she remembers Ajay and Tammie very well.
"Ajay in sixth grade exhibited a keen, inquiring mind and superior analytical skills," said Mrs. Stabler. "Everyone liked Ajay, whose actions showed responsibility, kindness, perseverance, and respect."
Tammie Tam learned some lessons in sixth grade that have stayed with her.
"If I had to choose a teacher who taught me something that I now realize is important, it would be Mrs. (Donna) Hamm," said Tam. "I never truly appreciated the value of public speaking skills until I had to do class presentations, make speeches, or just read aloud in middle school and high school."
Indeed, Tammie Tam has mastered her public speaking skills, and offered remarks to the sixth grade class at the 2011 JCDS graduation.
"A gentle, courteous student, Tammie as a sixth grader loved to read every book in sight," said Mrs. Stabler. "It is no surprise to me that students who read constantly surge to the top academically."
Tam plans to attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall, majoring in biology.
"I hope to continue my studies in music, but I would like to pursue a career in medicine," she said.
Ajay Shroff will study economics and international studies at the University of Pennsylvania this fall.
"I'm not really sure yet what I want to do for a career, but probably something in business or international relations," he said.
The faculty and staff at JCDS are always proud to see students who have truly realized their potential. In the cases of Ajay Shroff and Tammie Tam, their potential seems without bounds.
Mrs. Stabler remembered, "At twelve years of age, both Ajay and Tammie were outliers -- people of strong character with intellectual curiosity and strong work ethics."
The faculty and staff at Jacksonville Country Day School are always proud when one of its alumni excels. In this case, it's two-for-one.
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