Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Middle School held its Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony where students, staff, family and friends gathered to honor and recognize those students moving on to the high school.
APW Middle School Principal James Heffron commented on how the 8th graders had changed saying, “Not only have they grown several inches, they have taken up an instrument, learned a foreign language, participated in modified and Junior Varsity sports, performed in drama productions and broadened their horizons in academics and the arts.”
His advice for the students as they enter high school was simple, “Stay active, stay involved, and stay driven,” he said.
APW Board of Education President Michael Hale Sr. spoke to the students, calling the next four years of high school important building blocks in education.
Allayna Frank, student speaker for the evening pointed out how this class has been a part of some historical firsts in the district and in its consolidation plan.
They were the first fifth grade to be a part of the middle school, the last 8th grade to graduate from there and the first 9th grade that will occupy the newly renovated high school in the fall.
“We made history,” she said and also encouraged her fellow classmates by saying, “Don’t stop. Being defeated is often temporary, but giving up makes it permanent,” and “success is not final, failure is not fatal, but courage is continuing on.”
Superintendent Gerry Hudson said, “First of all, 8th grade, congratulations on all you have succeeded in.”
Then turning to the audience, Hudson said, “To the parents, congratulations on surviving 8th grade!”
Mr. Hudson also spoke to the students about the importance of high school and that a very important piece of every person’s future, their high school transcript, begins in 9th grade. “If high school was like a Facebook page, it would be your profile and your wall.” He also told the students that others in their future would be able to see how they did in high school, saying, “Next year your portrait is open to the world, make sure it is a good portrait. On every job application, military recruitment form, or college application there is a question that asks, ‘Where did you go to high school?’”
Following the guest speakers, awards were presented to the students in Language Arts, math, science, social studies, humanities, physical education, French, Spanish, music, health, art, and attendance. Students were also recognized with the American Citizenship Award and the Presidential Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence.
The Bobby DeGraff Award, presented to an outstanding Technology Education student in memory of Bobby DeGraff was awarded to Glen Muir.
The President’s Award for Educational Achievement recognizes students that show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment or intellectual development in their academic subjects and was awarded to the following students: Mariah Betts, Erik Gerhart, Joshua Hart, Austin Lasinski, Kristopher McNabb, Kaitlin Morey, Kaitie Mullin, Alan Nystrom, Madison Parkhurst, Nicole Roser, Brandon Sebelowitz, and Kara Wade.
The President’s Award for Educational Excellence recognizes academic success in the classroom and was awarded to: Jeb Atkinson, Sage Bartlett, Joseph Baum, Sara Comstock, Becky Cronk, Elizabeth Eggleston, Sabrina Fields, Allayna Frank, Missy Hilton, Bobbi-Ann Hoffman, Brittney Johnson, Mariah Johst, Joseph Karboski, Amanda Koagel, Emberlin Leja, Matthew Miller, Michael Mueller, Ellen Parker, Amber Rice, Megan Ruffos, and Karigan Shawcross.
Excellence in attendance awards were presented to the following students: Sara Comstock, Becky Cronk, Andrew Mosher, Collin Smith, Rianne Sprague, and Megan Waite. Excellence in attendance means they came to school for a portion of the day, every day. Perfect attendance, which meant the students came to school every minute of every day was awarded to: Brianna Collins, Bobbi-Ann Hoffman, Emberlin Leja, Kristopher McNabb, and Amber Rice.