Families, friends, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of Draper Middle School 8th graders during a Moving Up Ceremony, held June 16 at Mohonasen High School.
Student Elisha Rogers kicked off the ceremony by leading attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.
School counselor Angie Santabarbara called the day “bittersweet.”
“I have watched so many of you grow and mature into such caring, respectful young adults with so much confidence and character. I can remember you as upcoming 6th graders visiting the middle school for your tours and orientation, being so nervous that you were going to get stuffed into lockers and not be able to find your way,” said Santabarbara. “You have found your way, with the help of your families, teachers, and friends, and you have left a mark on Draper Middle School that will last for years to come.”
Student speakers included Student Council President Matt Sheremeta; Team 8-1 representative Kyra McCarthy; and, Team 8-2 representative Nicholas Morgan. They urged their classmates to aim high, work together and look to the future.
“We will overcome the challenges of high school using the tools our middle school teachers gave us,” said Nicholas.
In presenting the annual Principal’s Awards, Principal Rick Arket honored former principal Debra Male, who retired in December 2016 and was on hand for Friday’s ceremony.
“Mrs. Male is one of the most dedicated, student centered individuals I know, and I count myself lucky to have worked for her, even if it was for a short time,” said Arket. “Moving forward, these awards will be named the Debra Male Principal’s Award.”
Arket said each of the recipients embodies character traits Mrs. Male valued: traits such as leadership, character, perseverance and kindness. The Principal’s Awards were presented to Kiera Stack and Elisha Rogers.
Incoming Mohonasen High School Principal Kevin Warren noted that he and the students are starting new ventures together: he as high school principal, they as high school students.
“For some of you this may be a chance to start over. Maybe you weren’t the best student academically, you can change that now. This is the time that your grades count,” said Warren. “Maybe you spent more time in the principal’s office than the classroom, you can change that now. Don’t let your past define you, find a new path or blaze a new trail to higher ground.”
Warren said the students are now part of “Team 2021.”
“As a good teammate you are going to hold each other accountable, pick each other up, and have high expectations of each other. It is important that you work together as a class to achieve the ultimate goal of graduating in 2021,” he said.
The following awards were presented during the Moving Up Ceremony:
Daughters of the American Revolution Award: Each year, the DAR recognizes young women for their excellence and dedication in the field of American history. 2017 recipients: Isabella Vanderwarker, Emma Duell, Klementyna Cemerys
Bernard and Elizabeth Valachovic Scholarship for STEM in the amount of $250 is awarded to a female student who shows a strong interest in STEM-related enrichment programs. 2017 recipient: Rachel Nadareski.
The Knights of Pythias award: Each year award is given each year to a student who has made the greatest progress in extra-curricular activities and/or community endeavors. 2017 recipient: Emily Gandrow
National Junior Honor Society Outstanding Achievement Award is given to a student who has outstanding achievement in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. 2017 recipient: Kate Sherman
New York State Comptrollers Achievement Award:
These awards are given each year to students who have excelled academically and have also shown leadership potential by volunteering his or her time to serve the school or community. This year’s recipients are:
The following students were recognized for achieving the High Honor Roll (95 or above average) all quarters of middle school:
The following students were recognized for achieving Honor Roll or High Honor Roll (85 or above average) all quarters of middle school:
Congratulations to all of our 8th graders!