In an outdoor ceremony marked with pomp, circumstance, balloon arches and other fanfare, the Grand Avenue Middle School Class of 2021 celebrated moving up with three different ceremonies on June 11.
Eighth grader Samantha Bremer belted out the national anthem and Grand Voices, led by Amanda Cantwell, sang a peppy rendition of “On Top of the World.”
Principal Carlo Conte addressed the journey to “return to normalcy.”
“You guys have thrived, learned, joined clubs, competed in sports, put on a musical revue, participated in robotics competitions and excelled in science research competitions,” he added. “You guys are far from defined as typical or ordinary. You guys are extraordinary.”
Wellington C. Mepham High School senior Taylor Decina was invited to address the 11 a.m. ceremony.
At Grand Avenue “you got to redefine who you are and who you want to become,” she said. “In high school, I again realized the beauty of a new beginning. Branch out and meet new people and try new things. Break the social construct you think you’re being placed into.”
Student Clairevy Maingrette offered a student reflection during the ceremony, stating that the graduation serves as “a launching point, projecting us into the future” while holding onto the past. “The pandemic showed us that anything can happen and any minute and this is why we have to cherish moments with friends, family, teachers, etc.”