Wisdom Lane Middle School student Catherine Dinolfo gave the eighth grade address during the annual moving-up exercises.
Eighth grade students at Jones E. Salk and Wisdom Lane middle schools are ready to take the next academic step in their secondary education as they celebrated an important milestone in what was a unique year of learning. On June 14 and June 15, respectively, the students joined their parents under a large tent at the Levittown Memorial Education Center during one of three separate celebrations and to participate in the traditional moving-up ceremonies.
Salk Middle School Principal John Zampaglione told the students that they are "ready, willing and able to meet the challenges ahead," especially after the challenges that were overcome during the school year.
Select eighth grade choir members sang the national anthem and Andra Day's inspirational tune "Rise Up" to mark the occasion. Mr. Zampaglione also announced the winners of special academic, character, community and athletic awards. Student Council representative Meghan Lazzarini took the podium to reflect on time spent at Jonas E. Salk and to look ahead at what the future brings as she and her peers enter Macarthur High School in the fall. She explained that moving-up "is the beginning of young adulthood and a reflection of time spent at Salk."
Superintendent of Schools Tonie McDonald addressed the graduates at both ceremonies and congratulated them for being "kind-hearted kids" and for leading the school as role models. She said that high school will be a "piece of cake" after what they have all been through this past year. She also reminded the students that the people around them love and care about them.
In his opening words, Wisdom Lane Principal John Avena likened the 2020-2021 school year? to Plan B, when nothing goes as it should and you're faced with the decision to sink or swim. "It is with confidence that I can say in the last 15 months you have learned that respect, responsibility and hard work can turn Plan B into Plan A."
Additionally, Division Avenue High School Principal John Coscia welcomed the eighth graders to the high school and described how to become a dragon. He also said, "I look to you to continue the standards of excellence and to aid in the restoration of traditions."
Catherine Dinolfo also gave the eighth grade address, which was a reflection of the class's experiences at the middle school and what each of them has to look forward to in high school.
The students then walked across the dais as their names were called and were handed their moving up certificates. The students then congregated under the tent to say goodbye to classmates, take photos under the balloon arch and to thank special faculty.
Wisdom Lane Middle School eighth grader Daniel Lang walked across the dais to receive his certificate of completion as his peers followed during the annual moving-up exercises.
The select eighth grade chorus sang the national anthem and 'Rise Up' during the Jonas E. Salk Middle School's moving-up ceremony.
Amelia Jorgensen was one of several students who received awards for excellence during the Jonas E. Salk Middle School moving-up ceremony and is pictured with assistant principal Amy O'Grady.
Jonas E. Salk Middle School student Meghan Lazzarini gave the student council address during the moving-up ceremony.
Wisdom Lane Middle School students gathered under the tent during the annual moving-up exercises.
Jonas E. Salk Middle School eighth graders are pictured with the school mascot after the moving-up ceremony.
Wisdom Lane Middle School students waited in line to receive their certificates during the moving-up ceremony.