Chester eighth-graders advance to high school

Chester. Middle school counselor Jennifer Cuomo also presented awards to students Genevieve Maxwell and Geoffrey Mathurin for their academic achievements.

| 09 Jul 2024 | 11:09

On June 24, 2024, Chester Academy celebrated the eighth graders who will be attending high school in the fall. Students excitedly filed into their seats, being applauded and honored by faculty, family members, and friends as “Pomp and Circumstance” played.

Chester Academy Principal John Flanagan opened the ceremony by welcoming students and families and thanking Board of Education leaders and trustees, Parent Teacher Student Association members, and school administrators who helped plan and execute the night’s event. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by eighth-grade students Siel Johnson and Mason Bashir. The National Anthem was sung by William Peterman and Joseph Veltri, two rising eighth graders.

“Today marks a significant milestone in your educational journey,” said Flanagan. “Moving up from middle school to the school is a big step. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of you for reaching this point.” He then gave advice to the students on tips to survive high school, such as embracing responsibility, staying organized, and staying curious and engaged. He also gave a reminder that they all have the power to be successful in the future.

Two students were picked from the eighth-grade class by teachers who felt that they would best be able to speak for the class. Brooke Diaz and Emil Rubel were chosen by faculty to address students and offer some wise words to think about as they matriculate into the next grade.

“The truth is that everyone here has the capability to succeed in high school and beyond,” said Rubel. “There are so many great things to look forward to.”

Superintendent Catherine O’Hara then addressed the graduates. “When doubt creeps in or you feel overwhelmed by new challenges, I encourage you to look within yourselves,” she said. “Recall the moment when you faced adversity head-on and emerged stronger because of it.” Ms. O’Hara then encouraged students to celebrate their achievements, be brave, aim high, and enjoy the journey of high school.

Following the speeches, middle school counselor Jennifer Cuomo presented two New York State Attorney General Triple C awards to students Genevieve Maxwell and Geoffrey Mathurin, who were recognized for their high academic achievements and role model capabilities.

The night ended with the presentation of certificates for completing middle school and moving on to ninth grade.