Eighth graders celebrated their achievements and looked forward to a bright future during a traditional moving-up ceremony, held on the school’s front lawn on June 24.
The ceremony opened with a processional to “Over the Rainbow” by Harold Arlen as the students marched together before an audience of friends, family, teachers and administrators. Principal Dr. Thomas Wilson welcomed the guests and honorees before six student representatives – Kailee Fino, Harry Gallo, Linnea Hentschel, Jack Preusse, Gracie Scagnelli and John Toal – shared their reflections on the past three years.
Fino described her fellow classmates as unique and talented individuals, urging them to be active citizens in their community, stand for what they believe in and lead with courage and compassion. Gallo reflected on current events and applauded his classmates for their perseverance throughout a challenging year. Hentschel encouraged the graduates to challenge themselves, try new things in high school and surround themselves with supportive people. Preusse expressed gratitude toward teachers and family members for believing in and supporting him and his fellow classmates. Scagnelli reflected on her journey of becoming self-sufficient and gaining confidence throughout middle school. Toal reminded the students of the value of being able to adapt to new conditions and embrace changes along the way.
“Although quarantine forced us to stay physically separated in online school, ironically, this proved to be one of those times where the students were most connected,” Scagnelli said. “The amount of progress we have all made is remarkable and something we can all take credit for. I have no doubt we will continue to discover new strengths, talents and successes over the next four years.”
In his address, Dr. Wilson paid tribute to middle school math teacher Gene Orsenigo, who is retiring at the end of the school year after 46 years of service to Bronxville. He described Orsenigo as his hero, who has always cared for his work, craft and his students with unparalleled professionalism. In addition, Dr. Wilson recognized middle school social studies and math teacher Elizabeth Fleisig and social studies teacher Thomas Sanders, who are retiring after 23 and 20 years of service, respectively.
Signifying the conclusion of one chapter and the beginning of another, the students were called one by one to accept their certificates.