On Sunday, the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School will holds its graduation ceremony for seven seniors: Gabrial Canham, Chris Cartier, Hannah Gonsalves, Cyrus Kennedy, Zale Narkiewicz, Cassius Paquet-Huff and Astrid Tilton.

Following long tradition, the students will come to the ceremony as individuals, wearing not caps and gowns, but clothes of their choice. The one unifying factor in their outfits will be floral wreathes in their hair, also a long tradition at the school.

Each senior will also receive an individualized gift from a younger class, perhaps a pillow from the first graders for a student who likes to nap, or a compass from the kindergarten to help a graduate find her way as she navigates her next step. In their speeches the students will most likely talk about how they came to the school, wondering who they were and why they often didn’t feel as if they fit in as learners and as people, but how thanks to the charter school they not only discovered who they were but liked what they saw.

The night before, on Saturday, the charter school will hold a party to celebrate its twentieth anniversary. The school opened its doors on September 16, 1996 to 75 students, with just six teachers who did double duty as administration.

The charter school began as an idea, propelled forward by a group of parents who wanted to create a different type of educational experience. That first year, students were introduced to the one main rule of school, to respect each other and other people’s property.

The school was met with opposition in the early stages. It was something new, something unknown and there were worries that it might siphon money from other Island educational institutions. The school also preached an ethos where the students were as much in charge as the adults, a mission it continues to embrace.

But demand kept growing and each year more students and teachers were added, Robert Moore was hired as a full-time director, and eventually the fledgling school became an Island fixture with nearly two hundred students representing kindergarten through senior high. Last year, the school built a new science center, thanks to the generosity of Robert Day, a seasonal resident who gave half a million dollars to the school as a way to honor his good friend Vernon Jordan.

Now the charter school turns the page to open an important new chapter as it prepares for the future.

The journey from an idea met with skepticism to established educational component that complements rather than competes with the Island’s other school choices is one of hard work and vision. Two decades is both a long time and a short blip on an Island that prides itself on its history.

But it is certainly a moment to offer congratulations on what has been accomplished and best wishes as the public charter school looks to its next twenty years and beyond.