Pomp and circumstance filled the auditorium at Merrick Avenue Middle School, where students celebrated their moving up ceremonies on June 10.
Musical performances were offered by Word of Mouth, led by Dana Brandwein. Principal Dr. Taryn Johnson then addressed her students by saying “two years wasn’t enough.”
“It’s not enough for me to shape you more and for me to share more with you,” said Dr. Johnson at the Team 8 ceremony. Students graduated in four different ceremonies, separated by their academic team.
Dr. Johnson stressed the importance of putting time into perspective in order to learn how to love and live in every moment.
“Move forward knowing a team of people are enamored with your spirit,” she added.
Students will attend either John F. Kennedy, Sanford H. Calhoun or Wellington C. Mepham high schools within the district. High school student speakers John Del Orfano, Nicole Imhof, Jade Klein and Rachel Mashal offered words of advice for the incoming freshmen.
“You may face obstacles, but you will get past them,” assured Mashal, Kennedy’s salutatorian. “Get involved and build strong relationships with faculty members. Challenge yourself and learn from your failures. Follow your passion and don’t give up on what you love.”
Eighth-grader Julia Oladipo offered one of four student reflections, addressing her peers in an emotional speech.
“We are moving up to a bigger challenge – high school,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of hard work, failure or making sacrifices. Appreciate others and remember we cannot stand on our own.”