Summit's Moving Up 2019 Ceremony & Breakfast
Summit's 8th Grade Moving Up Breakfast and Ceremony was held on June 20.
Attended by family, friends, and Summit staff, the ceremony helped students celebrate their many accomplishments as they get ready to move up to high school this fall. Being prepared to move on, whether as a student transitioning to Summit's Upper School or to another high school, is our main focus for our eighth graders. Moving up to high school is a key transition in a student's life -- a significant rite of passage. It also serves as a process that furthers our students' own self-understanding. Here are some of the highlights of that special day in photos (see below for links to Summit's full gallery of photos and presentations):
Serving as emcee for Summit's 2019 Moving Up Breakfast and Ceremony, John Trainor , Director of Technology, introduced Karen Frigenti , Lower School Principal, who extended a warm welcome to all of Summit's eighth graders and their families and reflected on the importance of respect, empathy, achievement, character, and honesty -- all important traits that stand out prominently in the friendships found in this moving up group.
 
This year, our ceremony opened with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Jovan Rodriguez-DiDia . A touching video, "Our Students," featured each moving up student personally talking about their experience at Summit and their many aspirations, which was created by Dennis Moeller, Lower School Assistant Principal. Following the student video, teachers Matt Foley, Anne Jennis, and Gloria Ratafia announced our eighth grade students in Classes 20, 21, 22, and 26 and presented their 8th Grade Moving Up certificates.
Following the certificate presentation, Dennis Moeller , Lower School Assistant Principal, addressed our students, families, and guests, saying: "To the moving up students, I’ve gotten to know every one of you, and I can honestly say that I have learned from each of you. That is one of the gifts that educators at Summit get to experience. We get to know our students in such a unique and personal way that it has a lasting impact on us all. This particular group of students has a lot to offer to the world around them and I’m excited by the potential within this room....The kindness they demonstrated day in and day out, their strong but sensitive personalities, and the respect that this group had for everyone around them was one that I have never seen before. This group of 3rd and 4th graders, just a few short years ago, is an awesome representation of the group who sits before us today. I feel very lucky that in my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from each and every one of you."

Mr. Moeller concluded his remarks offering this advice: "The path before you will have bumps in the road. There will be unexpected turns, last-minute changes, and some life-altering moments. I encourage you all to face the future with enthusiasm and positivity. Remember where you came from but also remember where you are going and where you want to be. I wish you continued success for many years to come." 
Returning to the dais as keynote speakers at this year's ceremony, eighth graders Samuel Ben-Ami and Sky Lailonnie Owens presented their own personal reflections.

Samuel Ben-Ami said that "When I came to Summit I didn't know much about this place. I didn't know where my classes were or what my teachers would be like. I didn't even know where to put my backpack. But luckily the amazing staff here welcomed me and helped me to get around. I made good friends that I could joke around with and talk to on a regular basis. I really learned to love school and looked forward to coming here every day. Summit also diversified my knowledge of subjects. I got to learn about new stuff, like stock markets, finance, and the STEM program....Walking out of here today, I take with me my memories, my friendships, and the knowledge instilled in me by the dedicated teachers and other faculty. I wish all of the students graduating this year continued success."

Sky Lailonnie Owens said her remarks were inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., and Maya Angelou and talked about the importance of doing small things in a great way and the need for resiliency and self-advocacy. She first wanted "to thank the people who have done small things that have impacted by life in a great way. I was seven years old when I first came to Summit and didn't feel like I fit in....To anyone who has felt like they didn't fit in, the lesson that I have learned while here at Summit is that you are never alone, there is always someone who will take the time to listen."

She also remarked that "This graduating class has the power and potential to impact the world in a great way by doing small things like using the platinum rule, which is to treat others the way they want to be treated and to use your voice in a positive way by advocating for yourself and for others who have not yet found their voice. Let us, the graduating class of 2019 become inspirational leaders. We are a diverse group of individuals that can bring the world the inclusion it needs right now. Summit has been a beacon of light for all of us and an example how people from different perspectives and abilities can come together to succeed. Congratulations class of 2019, the path to our future is just beginning. From here we will continue to be successful and thrive in whatever we do, we all have the power to do great things and change the world we live in. Know your worth, and never settle for less than you deserve."
Closing this year's ceremony was Destiny Collazo , moving up student, singing "A Million Dreams" from the movie The Greatest Showman. Students were then invited to help Dennis Moeller cut the cake -- which provided a sweet ending to a perfect day. We extend a special thanks to Mariso l Lisasuain , parent of Destiny, for designing and providing this year's cake -- a spectacular three-tiered presentation. Students also received their 8th Grade Moving Up yearbooks, which were distributed by John Trainor, and they took the opportunity to spend time with classmates to get them inscribed and signed.
8th Grade Moving Up Trip 2019
On Friday, June 15, students from this year's 8th Grade Moving Up group proudly donned their commemorative t-shirts and enjoyed the annual tradition of going out together on a special trip. This year's trip took everyone to Coney Island's Luna Park in Brooklyn, where the thrillseekers, the gamers, and those who just wanted to hang out with friends on the Boardwalk, all had a great day and created a memory that will last a lifetime.
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