By Linda White
Moving On marks the end of middle school and the transition to high school and includes both a ceremony and a celebration. The ceremony held in the Bedford High School gymnasium — a location the soon to be ninth graders, aka the BHS Class of 2020, will get to know well over the next four years — recognizes the accomplishments of eighth grades students. Dressed in party attire, the students made their way on the footpath to the John Glenn Middle School for the celebratory/party portion of the evening.
Addressing the Moving On ceremony’s audience of 182 eighth grade students and their families, Principal Kevin Tracey described the graduates as “a diverse and special group of young ladies and gentlemen … This particular class really separated itself as an outstanding group of socially conscious and caring people.”
Principal Tracey continued, “Each year I choose one student from the eighth grade class to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. However, I have not always given a brief explanation on why I choose a particular student. For me it is an honor for the student. Caring, friendly, dedicated, and positive are all adjectives that describe this student. She never has an unkind word, and she is a friend to everyone. In the classroom she is a serious student who works hard, never gives up, and does what it takes to learn the material. In the building, she is the person in the hallway who always wears a smile on her face and offers others the warmest and friendliest of ’hello’s’. Her character, integrity, empathy, loyalty, respect, perseverance, and dedication all contributed to her success as a student, but moreover they are why we wish to recognize Sigrid Flender as a standout JGMS citizen and the student who will lead us in our Pledge of Allegiance.”
Directed by Amy Budka, the Eighth Grade chorus performed The Star-Spangled Banner. The chorus also performed Glorious later in the program.
Hannah O’Connor received the 2016 Honor Essay award and shared her reflection of JGMS with the audience. The essay was a mandatory writing assignment for students, however, submitting it for the award was voluntary. Teachers nominated submitted essays as finalists, students presented their essays to their peers, and the student audience voted for their favorite essay. Click here to read Hannah’s essay.
Eighth grade English teachers, Pat Stephen and Kelsey Little, presented the Academic Recognition Awards to the students who earned the honored distinction.
The Principal’s Award is given to a student who exemplifies the characteristics of kindness, selflessness, and respect for others. Principal Tracey shared the comments of Jim Nagle, eighth grade Team Leader and Social Studies teacher, “Chris Venuti is always enthusiastic to learn and engage in a positive way with anyone around him. His peers follow his lead and he would never lead them down a dangerous or negative path. … This student embodies the requisite qualities of the award yet wears these attributes with nonchalance and humility that we should all seek to emulate. … Chris makes those around him better people and I know, for sure, that wherever he goes becomes a better place because he is there.”
Principal Tracey thanked and acknowledged the Davis and Lane School teachers and JGMS faculty/and staff members and parents who prepared the graduates to this point. He also thanked Cindy Fisette and the army of parent volunteers who organized the evening.
Tracey closed the ceremony by complimenting the class, “In the words of your teachers and counselors who know you best — compassionate, genuine, motivated, and personal are words that come to mind when I think of this eighth grade class. I am proud of all of you. The faculty and I ask that wherever your path may lead you act with integrity, confidence, and pride for you alone represent the potential greatness of the future Class of 2020 and the very best of the Bedford School community. Now let’s go celebrate your Moving On!”
And then, The Party
The many hands and volunteers of the JGMS Parent Association hosted a wonderful evening for the graduates.
There was a dinner that included taco and meatball bars, side dishes, desserts and beverages.
Dancing in the gym with DJ Glen Kinney, a photo booth, the hallways filled with photo memories, and fellowship kept the graduates busy until 10 pm. Based upon the smiling and also tired faces of the graduates, the event was clearly a success.
The Photo Booth
The following day, the class enjoyed a day at Canobie Lake Park in their Class of 2020 tee shirts.
Moving On has been a JGMS tradition for 20 or more years. Cindy Fisette chaired this year’s event with key committee heads Michelle Saber, Ralene Houck, Christine Speciale, Francine Hennessey, Peter Ricci, Venus Ho, Lisa and Tim Tramonte, Marillian and Dan Missiti, Serena Danielson, and a host of parent volunteers who participated by making monetary and food donations and in various other aspects. Community partners also provided generous donations. Click here to read the full program for the ceremony.