, Gloucester, MA

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June 15, 2013

In a class of his own at Eastern Point

At eighth grade graduation ceremonies, some kids feel so special, they could swear they are the only 13-year-old in the room.

For Eastern Point Day School’s sole eighth-grader this year, that was actually the case.

“It was nice. It was a good time,” eighth-grader Mark Turner said of his Wednesday evening graduation ceremony.

Mark was thankful that so many people, including his schoolmates from younger grades, his family, teachers and mentors had come to the graduation ceremony that yielded just one eighth-grade graduate.

Eastern Point Day School had about 33 students this year, but only one eighth-grader. The larger part of the school’s students are concentrated in the younger grades.

Still, the school combines grade levels and Mark took classes with students younger than him, receiving extra challenges from teachers. He will attend St. John’s Prep in Danvers next year, and says he’s looking forward to studying computer science and playing golf and baseball in high school. Yet while he is excited about upcoming new experiences, he also adored his small school by the ocean.

“I was there for nine years and it was great. You could have more one on one time with the teachers, and there was a lot of off campus learning,” Marks said, listing some of his favorite trips to places like the Cape Ann Museum, an adventure camp and Boston’s Museum of Science.

Mark’s mom, Kathi Turner, who volunteers at the school as a business manager and trustee, said in light of the school’s near closing in 2004 she is thrilled to see the school still open and graduating students. Turner and a group of parents grouped together and bought the then-Catholic St. Mel’s school, which was on the verge of bankruptcy, and later renamed it. The parents could not bear to watch the school close.

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