KENILWORTH, NJ - On the night of June 20, David Brearley Middle School held its annual commencement ceremony for the eighth grade class of 2016 where 113 students graduated.
Three students spoke at the event with the first being Joseph Triano, the class salutatorian. Triano gave a speech that reminisced about the time spent in the middle school and he reminded students that, while they all will remember different parts of middle school, they “are all here tonight saying a final farewell to [middle school]”.
“Up next is high school, and not everyone may be continuing at Brearley, but we all have a piece of the school embedded within us,” said Triano. “Every year in school is a little tougher than the previous, but we all have to take what we know to adapt and overcome. With that in mind, I am positive that everyone graduating tonight will be able to handle high school and the changes that approach them.”
For the first time in several years, the school had two valedictorians, Isabella Federico and Sarah Kossor. The two gave a speech together that focused on the future of the students, with Kossor stating that “this is just the beginning of a long journey each and every person here will take.”
“Looking towards the future, I want everyone to know that we have the power to make the right choice in difficult situations, and we all have the power to change the world. Even when you break apart the word impossible, you get ‘I’m Possible’, because we are possible,” Kossor said.
“We are all unique in many ways, but the interesting thing about middle school is that no one wants to be different. What I mean is, we all want to be ourselves, but only a few dare to not go along with the crowd,” added Federico. “We need to continue push ourselves to be challenged. And so, I challenge my fellow classmates to question conformity just for the sake of fitting in. I encourage us all in our future endeavors to stand up for our beliefs, to share opinions without fear of penalty, to test our limits, and, most importantly, to always be true to ourselves.”
The school then congratulated the members of the National Junior Honor Society, as well as the ten most highly ranked students. Dr. Thomas Tramaglini, the Superintendent, then gave a speech that also addressed the future of the students, encouraging the graduates to give these next four years their all.
“You need to understand that the 21st Century is a competitive one. In just four years, you’ll be deciding if you’re going to go to college, career, military, but regardless, every one of the next 720 school days counts. Give it your best. Don’t take shortcuts, because if you don’t make this commitment someone else will,” Tramaglini stated.
The students were then each individually recognized for this outstanding achievement. In regards to the manner, the school Principal Brian Luciani said that “the students and this class are very close and I believe the bonds they have created during their time in Middle School will serve them well as they enter high school.”
Editor's Note: The writer of this piece, Anna Giacalone, is a student at David Brearley High School.