Eighth-graders celebrated the culmination of their hard work over the last three years during a special moving up ceremony, held at the gymnasium on June 21. They will embark on the next phase of their educational journey as high school freshmen in the fall.
The celebration featured music provided by band director John Mattera and the middle school band, as well as inspiring words from students and administrators. Student representatives Ava Liebmann and Asher Rabinowitz addressed their classmates and reflected on their middle school experience. In his remarks, Principal Eric Lutinski shared a few words of wisdom with the students about the power of their choices and encouraged them to persevere through any challenge with confidence.
“Bad choices are something you can recover from,” Dr. Lutinski said. “Regardless of ability, you don’t have to let your previous choices define you. If [J.K.] Rowling is right, then you have unlimited opportunities to demonstrate your character. Do not let any societal, parental, historical or cultural Hogwarts Sorting Hat prejudge you. Change, grow and evolve; keep making thoughtful, confident choices and show who you really are. You’ll be as proud of yourself as we are of you.”
During the ceremony, several students received awards for excellence in academics, athletics and the arts.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro offered advice to the students and reflected on their contributions to the middle school. She also encouraged them to thank their parents for their love and support, cherish the friendships they’ve made and fondly reflect back on their middle school experiences that included team sports, science experiments, musicals, pep rallies, BBQs and newly found independence.
“I encourage you to take advantage of the knowledge you have gained as Rye Neck Middle School students, and cherish the friendships that you have made,” Dr. Ferraro said. “They will continue to give you the strength to continue on your high school journey.”
Signifying the conclusion of one chapter and the beginning of another, the students were called one by one to accept their certificates.