MONTVILLE, NJ -  On Wednesday evening, June 18, three hundred and twenty-five Robert R. Lazar Middle School eighth graders were promoted to ninth grade. The ceremony took place in the gymnasium at Montville Township High School.

“You are an extraordinary class,” Principal Sharon Carr told the students. “You have made a difference.”

Carr encouraged the class to continue on their journey using the skills they have developed at Lazar.

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“Respect each other, take time to listen, and when you speak, speak from your heart,” Carr said. “Go out and make the world a better place for all of us.”

Student Council President, Jack Motherway, spoke of respect and maturity.

“It’s a long process, this growing up business,” he said. “But, we’ll get there.”

Motherway alluded to the fact that on the next leg of the adventure – high school – all the members of the class of 2018 will each be joined by three hundred of their closest friends.

Officials in attendance at the promotion ceremony included: Superintendent, Dr. Paul Fried, Assistant Superintendents Dr. Casey Shorter and Andrea Selvaggi, Mayor Don Kostka, Board of Education Members Frank Cooney, Dr. Matthew Kayne, Michael Palma and Board President Dr. Karen Cortellino.

Awards were presented in twenty-one categories.

Those who received awards were:

  • Academic Achievement Awards: Emily Liao and Virginia Wei
  • American Heritage Awards: Enoch Jo and James Mesce
  • Scholastic Progress Award: Matthew Moldawsky
  • The Robert R. Lazar Middle School Service Award: Viviana Mendez and Shane Oswald
  • Sportsmanship Awards: Cynthia Huang and Cameron Horn
  • The Student of the Year Award: Nicole Feaster
  • The Nutrition, Family and Consumer Studies Award: Melissa Kozell
  • Music Awards: Jack Motherway and Cynthia Huang (Concert Band), Brooke Nagel and Emily Liao (Chorus), Virginia Wei and Enoch Jo (Orchestra)
  • Art Awards: Victoria Iasso and Gabriel Mohideen
  • The LNN Television Studio Award: Payton Casarico and James Mesce
  • The Spanish Award: Matthew Chang
  • The Italian Award: Ryan Perretta
  • The French Award: Virginia Wei
  • The Mandarin Award: Nicolette Chris Rubel
  • The Morris County Superintendent’s Middle School Leadership Award: Jack Motherway
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Youth Citizenship Awards: Julia Gillan and Joseph Dello Stritto
  • Citizenship Awards: Daniel Lee and Thomas Palmisano
  • The Lazar Determination Award: Sid Rodriguez
  • The Todd Perrella Memorial Award: Christopher Tartaglia
  • Michelle Sullivan Memorial Award: Tara Roy
  • Heroism Awards: Adam Kolides, Eric Leong, Jonah Minkoff and Andrew Rycharski.

In addition, the Montville Township High School Parent Teacher Council awarded the class a $100 check to begin the Class of 2018 Freshman account.