WEST ORANGE, NJ - On June 17, 250 eighth grade Liberty Middle School (LMS) students celebrated their promotions in the West Orange High School (WOHS) auditorium. Students, family, and friends were greeted by Interim Superintendent James O'Neill and WOHS Principal Hayden Moore, who welcomed his new incoming freshman class.
O'Neill encouraged the students to pursue excellence at the high school and to take advantage of all the opportunities available, whether academic, athletic, or extra-curricular. Moore said that as of today, the LMS graduating class would now be known as "Mountaineers of the Graduating Class of 2018."
Liberty Middle School Principal Bob Klemt encouraged his students to embrace the upcoming challenges and reviewed the many accomplishments of the graduating class. He said that 20 students maintained straight A's in every course for the school year; 24 eighth graders had perfect attendance, and that the Helping Hands club and Student Council were recognized for their service and school spirit contributions.
Award winners included:
The Mayor's Citizenship award was presented to Kefie Mutume, Julia Edelman and Ebezi Anuamadi.
The Liberty Award of Distinction, which was awarded to one female and one male who exemplify good character, commitment to studies, and a caring attitude toward their peers and teachers went to Krystal McGruder and Tyler Eatman.
A new Liberty Middle School Scholarship award was presented to Ebezi Anuamadi, by Assistant Principal Aixa Garcia, for his efforts in cross country, spring track and being the winner of the First Annual Liberty Fun Run/Walk that was held last month and was planned by Ms. Garcia to promote health and wellness.
Students Tiffany Thomas, Marc Younker and Danielle Fastiggi read their essays during the Creative Achievement segment of the ceremony.
West Orange High School junior Maya Younker was the program's guest speaker, welcoming graduates to the high school. Maya was a 2011 graduate of Liberty.
Diplomas were given out by Principal Klemt, Assistant Principal Garcia, Team Leader Melissa Martino and Chris Todd.
Following the ceremony, students returned to Liberty for their yearly promotion dance. Over 215 students attended the dance, which featured former Liberty student ROTC members in uniform as chaperones.
(Editor's Note: Thanks to Liberty Middle School Principal Bob Klemt for his contributions to this article.)