Vowing to continue to grow, embrace new challenges and use their voices to make a difference in the world, members of Bronxville Middle School’s eighth grade class celebrated the next chapter of their educational journey during a virtual moving-up ceremony on June 18.
The celebration, which was livestreamed on YouTube, opened with a musical performance from the middle school orchestra and featured reflections from eight student representatives – AJ Diaz, Simos Dimas, Will Gottlieb, Chris Horvers, Frannie Krause, Alden Martinelli, Tony Tao-Guerrero and Ella Tuck. They reflected on current events; discussed overcoming adversity, growing from their mistakes and making good choices; and urged their fellow classmates to be active citizens in their community.
“We have learned that we should strive for respect and dignity for all people and that basic rights are worth fighting for,” eighth grader Frannie Krause said. “The Bronxville School has taught us how to ‘be the change we want to see in the world’ and how to shape our history, the history that will be taught to the next generation of eighth grade students.”
Ella Tuck encouraged her fellow classmates to remember the good times they shared together throughout their middle school years and embrace the new challenges they may face in high school.
“In order to truly succeed, you will have to acknowledge that unexpected journeys are a part of life,” she said. “Accept that you can’t plan everything out. Planning out life only brings regret, and I am grateful for my middle school experience for showing me that. We never planned for a pandemic. Don’t let these uncertain times mask the goods times we have shared over the years. Let’s enter high school open to adjustments and ready to manage any unforeseen situations.”
Tony Tao-Guerrero reflected on becoming more organized, responsible and self-motivated as a result of being engaged in online classes during the pandemic.
“I am proud of us for all we have been able to accomplish during this trying time, and I really look forward to seeing what we’ll all be able to achieve in the years to come in high school,” he said.
Alden Martinelli said she was confident she and her classmates were ready to take on the challenge of making an impact in their community.
“We have not only been living through a pandemic, but we have witnessed racial conflicts escalate across the country, protesters fighting for black lives and equality, and a country struggling as a whole,” she said. “It is only with strong character and conviction that we can make a difference, especially now when it is so desperately needed. Our words and conversations are just the beginning. Much more will be needed from us as we move into high school, and we are ready for this challenge.”
In his address, Principal Dr. Thomas Wilson described the Bronxville School Class of 2024 as a group of students who have passion, commitment and a drive to live in a better world.
“You are truly living history, and there is no doubt you will remember eighth grade better than any other class that has graduated from this school in memory,” Dr. Wilson said. “On a daily basis you are witness to a changing world, and in so many critical ways you are a part of making a future for all of us.”
He said the rising high school freshmen are ready to act and make real-life choices because they’ve been groomed for leadership and are taught the importance of civic responsibility.
“As imponderable and daunting as some of the things we are facing may seem, I am personally optimistic for the future because I have the honor of knowing each one of you,” Dr. Wilson said.
Signifying the conclusion of one chapter and the beginning of another, the students’ names were read aloud one by one by their teachers. The ceremony concluded with Dr. Wilson expressing his gratitude toward the teachers for their creativity and dedication and toward the community for their continued support.
Earlier in the day, the eighth graders received their certificates during the drive-through celebration at their school.