Walden Moving Up Ceremony


The Walden School’s annual Moving Up ceremony, held on Thursday morning at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES’ Yorktown campus, celebrates everyone.

.All classes are recognized for their hard work and each student receives a certificate of accomplishment to enthusiastic rounds of applause. The Walden School serves students with a variety of social, emotional and learning needs.

While Principal Mike Sowul said that the ceremony could sometimes be a bit unpredictable, it is a true celebration of students, teachers, staff and parents.

“Students come to Walden with challenges, which are often significant,” he said in his remarks to the students, teachers and families assembled in the school gym. “Within the context of caring relationships, our students learn to plan, monitor and regulate their behavior. In this way, they develop resilience, or what I like to call grit.”

District Superintendent Dr. James Ryan described Walden as “a very special school that is second to none.” He called the atmosphere at the school “supportive, safe and stimulating,” particularly noting the caring nature of the staff.

Every student received a certificate from Mr. Sowul. “We are celebrating your accomplishments,” he told the students, “as well as our shared relationships, values and hopes for the future.”

Tami Taylor’s daughter Violet was among the students celebrated at the event. “Walden means the world to her,” said Taylor. “She loves coming here, and the people care so much. That is extremely evident.”