The 2019 Moving Up Ceremony at John Jay Middle School was robust with firsts. Not only was it the first Moving Up officiated by Principal Jeffrey Swiatowicz, it also featured more student-musicians than ever before. The eighth-grade chorus and band presented “Defying Gravity” together—a performance that included approximately 100 students conducted by Jennifer Fraczek and Kristen VonBargen. Olivia DiLeo, Arianna Gioffre, and Rachel Lewis—members of school’s a capella group, 14th Harmony—also performed "The Star-Spangled Banner.”
John Jay Middle School’s gym was draped in festive purple for the occasion.
As guests entered, they were treated to a slide show of the eighth graders in sixth and seventh grade.
Student Council Co-Presidents Walter Oestreicher and Ryan Giner and Vice President Abigail Rudin led the Pledge of Allegiance. They also announced the class gift—a spoon, fork, and knife dispenser for the cafeteria—which would reduce the wait time for “hangry” students, they explained.
Interim Assistant Principal Dr. Harry Laub acknowledged the work of the seventy-seven Homebase Leaders. Assistant Principal Monica Bermiss recalled her first impressions of the students. Jeffrey Tepper, the eighth-grade counselor, recognized the sixty-one students who earned the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. He cited selflessness as an ideal for all students to work towards.
“I know you are ready to bring quality with you to the high school and continue on your path towards changing the world,” he said.
Principal Swiatowicz offered the rising freshmen four ingredients for their future success. Be a good friend. Learn from mistakes. Live your life. Be kind.
“Consider the advice others give you,” said Mr. Swiatowicz, “and let your voice become stronger.”
The slideshow of eighth-grade highlights showed the students’ growth—from fall sports to the recent all-grade boat trip and everything in-between. The ceremony concluded with each student's name being called to walk across the platform and receive a Moving Up certificate.
Congratulations to the class of 2023!