'SNL' alum Jenny Slate to deliver commencement address at tiny one-room schoolhouse

Small schools have their advantages.

"Saturday Night Live" alum Jenny Slate will deliver a commencement address to a very intimate audience: Just one child is graduating 8th grade this year from Cuttyhunk Elementary school, a one-room schoolhouse that sits on a scarcely-populated Massachusetts island near Martha's Vineyard.

Approximately twelve people live on the island year-round, and one of those twelve is Gwen Lynch. She'll also give a speech on graduation day, according to the Cape Cod Times, and her departure from the school, which was built in 1873, will leave it vacant. Upon her departure, the historic building will be converted into a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) academy for visiting students.

After agreeing to give the address, Slate, who grew up in Massachusetts, got in touch with the teenager so they could chat. They even met up in person over a recent weekend.

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Jenny Slate out and about
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Jenny Slate out and about
Jenny Slate arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Gifted" at the Pacific Theatres at the Grove on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jenny Slate attends a photo call for "Venom" on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jenny Slate, a cast member in "The Sunlit Night," poses at the premiere of the film during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jenny Slate arrives at the world premiere of "Venom" on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Jenny Slate, left, and Chris Evans arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "Gifted" at the Pacific Theatres at the Grove on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jenny Slate attends the LA Premiere of "Hotel Artemis" at the Westwood Bruin Theater on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Jenny Slate seen at the screening and Q&A of Netflix "Big Mouth" at the Paley Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Blair Raughley/Invision for Netflix/AP Images)
Jenny Slate arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Comrade Detective" on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Jenny Slate arrives at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grants Banquet at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Jenny Slate attends the "Aardvark" premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, April 21, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
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Slate is also involved with a Cuttyhunk-based writers workshop that's run by her boyfriend, Ben Shattuck.

Despite the island's near-zero population, the town is expecting a full house on graduation day: A ferry service will allow friends, family and other non-locals to come and celebrate with a potluck meal.

Last year, Boston NPR station WBUR spotlighted the island's annual first-day-of-school tradition, when residents gather to applaud and cheer as students make their way into the schoolhouse. Lynch wasn't the only student this year; there was also a second-grader, but it appears the child will not remain enrolled.

According to Lynch's father, who also grew up on Cuttyhunk Island, the town was more bustling years ago; he had 13 classmates — which may sound small, but it's 13 times the number his daughter had.

"On Halloween, there would be kids running through the streets and banging on doors and giant Christmas parties at the Town Hall. It was just fantastic," Duane Lynch said.

And while he admitted that life on the island could be "way too hard of a life," he lauded the school's one and only teacher, Michelle Carvalho. "It's a great education. It's one-on-one all the time. You can't slip through the cracks. You can't hide in the back of the class. You are front and center."

PHOTOS: Life on Cuttyhunk Island

8 PHOTOS
Life on Cuttyhunk Island
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Life on Cuttyhunk Island
CUTTYHUNK ISLAND, MA - JULY 23: A view from the bottom of Broadway, on Cuttyhunk Island. (Photo by Kevin Cullen/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GOSNOLD, MA - AUGUST 21: Eleven-year-olds Myles Ramey and Conor Lodge await direction before performing in the Cuttyhunk Union Church at the annual Musicale. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GOSNOLD, MA - AUGUST 20: Eight-year-old Allison Garfield appears to be bored during the rehearsal for the annual Musicale, preformed every year on the island at the Union Church. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
CUTTYHUNK ISLAND, MA - JULY 23: The old Coast Guard house on Cuttyhunk Island is now used as an R & R retreat for Coast Guard. (Photo by Kevin Cullen/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GOSNOLD, MA - AUGUST 19: Lukas Schipper, left, and Alan Kenyon sit on a piling at the ferry dock on Cuttyhunk Island. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GOSNOLD, MA - AUGUST 21: Ellen Parrington twirls Lorna Schenck around while playing outside of the Cuttyhunk Union Church, while Tristan Lodge, 12, plays guitar. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GOSNOLD, MA - AUGUST 20: Tinkerbelle the dog waits patiently in front of the pick up truck while her owner takes time to chat with some other residents of Cuttyhunk. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GOSNOLD, MA - AUGUST 21: A crowd of townspeople try to get a peek through the windows of the Cuttyhunk Union Church of the annual Musicale performance, in which children and adults of the island perform. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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