HARVARD — The Bromfield School, reprising a tradition started some 10 years ago, held an eighth-grade recognition ceremony in Cronin Auditorium last week, marking the transition from middle to high school.
Maryellen McGarty, middle school social studies teacher and team leader, served as the master of ceremonies. After welcoming the audience of relatives and friends, she told the 92 eighth-graders, “Thanks for showing up looking so snazzy!”
Tracing the history of the event, launched by Dr. David Stocking about a decade ago, she asked a question some students might ask themselves.
“Isn’t this ceremony a bit superfluous since we’re not going anywhere?” she asked.
And, since it was a rhetorical question, she answered it.
“This is not a conclusion but a beginning,” she said. “Your middle school years are over it is appropriate to celebrate this moment and your achievements.”
She and the associate principal handed out certificates to each of the students, noting that those who had achieved honors status had earned an A-minus or better in all five core academic subjects this year. Each student also received a class T-shirt.
Awards presentations followed, interspersed with student performances. Sarah Steranka played a flute solo, Mozart’s “Concerto no. 2 in D.” A three-person violin and piano ensemble — Connor Finnegan, Sarah Collins and Lewis Pacheco — delivered a rendition of Jay Ungar’s “Ashokan Farewell.”
At McGarty’s request, Pacheco later returned to the piano and struck up a lively impromptu recessional.
The teaching team praised the eighth-graders, the first class to complete the new middle school model starting at sixth grade. They showed great attitude, strong leadership skills and should be proud of their accomplishments, the teachers said.
* Art awards: Outstanding art award for creativity and work ethic: Alexa Pappas. Evan Cochrane received recognition for copies of famous paintings, one of which looked “better than the original,” according to his teacher, Mrs. Chandler. The third award went to a new student, Stephen Castro, who helped with the Art in Bloom exhibit and surprised even himself with his artistic talent, she said.
Mrs. Cook also gave out three art awards.
“In the corner, a student sits creatively producing art work with precision,” Mrs. Cook said of student Rachel Jorgensen. Describing award recipient Steven Drummey, she said he would be overheard “intensely muttering,” seemingly dissatisfied with his work. But Cook said his original designs certainly met her standards. The third award went to Michael Child, who showed up for every art class, not just his own, and developed into a self-appointed helper and “the coolest teaching assistant a teacher could have,” she noted.
* Music awards: Music teacher and school band director Thomas Reynolds praised all of the students he taught during middle school. These awards, he said, went to those who had demonstrated “special gifts” worthy of cultivating. “Remember, it is a highly-talented class,” he said, noting the instruments they played and various competitions and events some of them had entered, such as the National Honors Band. The Sousa honors went Clara Verheyen, Sarah Steranka, Kailee Rubin, Melanie Walker, Rebecca Turner, Thomas Sharon.
* Math awards: Mr. Tabor announced the winners of the AMC Math contest, which consisted of 25 challenging problems in a 45-minute test period. It took “quick thinking and solid strategy” to achieve top scores, he said. Tied for third place: Vinsula Hastings, John Lurvey, Sarah Steranka, Clara Verheyen and Joshua Wright. Second place: Nicole Snyder. First Place: Sam Aney.
Tabor also awarded certificates to the participants in the Math Olympiad, a weekly after-school event, from October to March, in which students practice math logic problems and take tests. Scores are turned in and kept in a repository in Kansas, he said. The Math Olympiad participants were Kelsey Burnsed, Zachary Clements, Stephen Drummey, Molly Eldredge, Brian Mandozzi, Scott Myslinksi, Kate Oglesby, Ben Swearingen and Josh Wright, with Tom Sharon as the top scorer.
* Perfect Attendance awards were presented to Tyler Lu and Tom Sharon. Associate Principal Scott Hoffman said the two students had never been tardy or even dismissed early.
* Most Improved students were Vinsula Hastings, Lorraine Holmes, Catherine Spacciapoli. Chosen by the eighth-grade teaching team for having shown measurable growth and maturity from the beginning to the end of the year in attitude as well as academics.
* Love of Learning awards were given to those students demonstrating commitment that extended beyond the classroom, almost never complaining about assignments and showing curiosity and enthusiasm. The winners were Halsey Berryman, Kelsey Burnsed, Sarah Collins, Andrea D’Eramo, Dominique Ledoux, Kailee Rubin and Sarah Steranka.
* Most Consistent Effort awards were handed to Erica Bonnell, Alexandra Carley, Megan Harrington, Rachel Jorgensen, Eryk Lorenz-Kruk and Nicole Snyder.
The Bromfield Award
A new tradition this year is the Bromfield Award, given to students who show leadership, citizenship and “zest for life,” according to Hoffman, who said these students demonstrate outstanding attitude and attributes in and out of class. The award winners were Abigail Alexander, Benjamin Landry and Rebecca Turner.