The tree has always been a symbol of importance at Woodlawn, both because of the sheer number of them on our campus and because of what they teach us by example: resilience and grace through inevitable changes; the value of independence and interdependence; and a steady pursuit of lifelong growth. Each class is a member of either the Oak, Maple, or Poplar family, and students remain a part of their family tree throughout their time at Woodlawn. The oak is representative of courage and strength; the maple, wisdom and balance; and the poplar, endurance and opportunity.

The Family Tree Ceremony is a very special way to bring together the different grade levels. We’re all “sorted” into certain tree groups that are mixed with different grade levels. For example, as an eighth grader I was placed with the Poplar group, which included a couple different classes in both Upper and Lower School. At each assembly, pep rally, and other school gathering, we sit with our tree groups. This allows us to bond with other students in different grades that we may not have gotten to know otherwise. This makes us feel more like a family than a school, which is a very special experience. I really enjoy the Woodlawn Family Tree Ceremony and I hope it is carried on long after I am gone.

Jack Hager ’19