Eighth graders – who have been described by their principal as kind and hardworking students – celebrated their accomplishments over the last three years during a special moving-up ceremony, held at the gymnasium on June 26.
The celebration began with the middle school band performing “Pomp and Circumstance” and continued with a performance of “America, the Beautiful.” The ceremony featured inspiring words from student representatives Asha O’Reilly and Matthew Steeves, who reflected on their middle school experience and encouraged their classmates to demonstrate grit in all of their endeavors.
In his remarks, Principal Dr. Eric Lutinski shared a few words of wisdom with the students about the importance of embracing failure as a stepping stone to success, and provided them with advice on developing grit.
“Having grit means having determination, fortitude, resolve or strength of character,” he said. “Grit is ignoring available excuses. Grit is finding a way to get things done. It’s OK to take advantage of support from family, friends and technology once in a while; just don’t forget that you are your own best resource.”
During the ceremony, several students received awards for excellence in academics, athletics and the arts.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro referenced this year’s “Wizard of Oz” theater production as she offered words of wisdom to the students. She also encouraged the students to thank their parents for their love and support.
“As you prepare for the next chapter of your Rye Neck journey, I ask you to look within yourself and to think about the adventures of the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Cowardly Lion whenever you are faced with challenges,” Dr. Ferraro said. “Always know that you have the courage, sensitivity and intelligence to achieve. After all, you are Rye Neck students – brave, caring and smart.”
Signifying the conclusion of one chapter and the beginning of another, the eighth graders were called one by one to accept their certificates. They will embark on the next phase of their educational journey as high school freshmen in the fall.