MONTVILLE, NJ - Nearly 325 students were promoted from eighth to ninth grade on Monday, June 19, 2017 at the sixty-fourth annual Robert R. Lazar Middle School Promotion Ceremony.

Over twenty-three awards were presented to students.

Principal Sharon Carr, who will retire following the end of the 2016 – 2017 academic year, told the students that: “Today marks a milestone for you; a day that begins a journey to your future.”

Sign Up for E-News

Carr pointed out that the students have grown “academically, socially and emotionally” over the past three years.

“I have personally witnessed your kindness helping a fellow student…always hoping that kindness will spread to others.” After listing many charities and activities, Carr added: “You’ve donated to a multitude of charitable organizations…the list is endless…. Thank you for making a difference and for making Lazar shine.”

Class President Elliot Jo also spoke eloquently. He thanked the students, faculty and parents, and he reminisced about his three years at Lazar and he spoke of hopes for the Class of 2021 at Montville Township High School.

“Everything you do in life will have an effect,” Jo reminded them. He asked his fellow students to learn from the words of Steve Jobs and Helen Keller.

“Treat yourself well and cherish others,” is a quote that Jobs reportedly said in his last days on Earth; a lesson as to what is truly important in life. Jo pointed out that at the end of his life, a man who had worked all of his life to amass billions asked others to recognize what was truly important in life.

“May each of us treat each other well,” Jo said as he looked forward to the next four years, “Because, after all, we are in this together.”

He concluded by asking his colleagues to look out for each other over the next four years. “Because, as Helen Keller said, ’Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.’”

Following his speech, awards were presented to the following students:

The Academic Achievement Award - Victoria Wei and Andrew Xu

American Heritage Awards – Victoria Feaster and Natalie Rossinow

The Scholastic Progress Award – Andrew Loizou

The Robert R. Lazar Middle School Service Award – Grace Frederick and Sydney Leong

Sportsmanship Awards – Daniel McDavid and Abigail Lisi

The Student of the Year Award – Emma Zwickel

The NFC Studies Award – Julienne Gabriel

Music Awards for Concert Band – Brian Chen and Jeffrey Chen

Music Awards for Chorus – Nina Lewin

Music Awards for Orchestra – Frances Lai and Andria Merkaj

Art Awards – Ania Gill and Queenly Xie

The LNN Television Studio Award – Brady Garb and Ania Gill

The Spanish Award – Hannah Scroggins

The Italian Award – Maria Papera

The French Award – Andrew Xu

The Mandarin Award – Samuel Abramson

Morris County Superintendent’s Middle School Leadership Award – Emma Zwickel

Daughters of the American Revolution Youth Citizenship Awards – Maria Papera and Michael Usatine

Citizenship Awards – Daniel Fariello and Elliot Jo

The Lazar School Determination Awards – Omar Alvarez

The Todd Perrella Memorial Award – Emily Luo and Lindsay Zuckerman

Michelle Sullivan Memorial Award – Charlotte Weinstein

Heroism Awards – Dylan Huang and Emily Spellman

The Carol Lazar Snyder Memorial Awards - Madeleine Kelly and Abigail Lisi

The Lynette Berdej Memorial Award - Emily Gazzillo

Students Ania Gill, Abigail Lisi, Maria Papera, Andrew Xu and Emma Zwickel each received two awards during the event.

The Montville Township High School Parent Teacher Council also presented the Class of 2021 with a $100 check to open the freshman account.

Following the presentation of awards the students’ names were announced as each individual came forward to shake the hand of Principal Sharon Carr, Montville Township Board of Education Member Dr. Matthew Kayne and Montville Township Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. René Rovtar.

The ceremony was organized by Class Advisors Suezette Given and Ellen Parmentier.

Held indoors in the gymnasium at Montville Township High School, students, parents, faculty and families gathered to celebrate the important occasion.

The school’s Symphonic Band, under the direction of Chelsea Stebbins, played Pomp and Circumstance by Sir Edward Elgar and Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke.

In her closing, Carr, who said she usually quotes Dr. Seuss, Albert Einstein or Maya Angelou, chose instead to quote an essay written by one of the day’s graduates.

“This was written by one of you,” Carr said as she pointed to the eighth graders. The identity of the graduate remained anonymous as she explained, “This essay had one of the best messages: ‘Keep your head up, look up to the sky and tell yourself that you can. You can be something fantastic, you can turn the unpredictable to fascinating. Be who you were born to be. If that doesn’t work, be more than that. We were made to change the world, our generations were made to change each other. To become better people, better to one another. Believe, hope, then soar. Don’t for one second let anyone tell you, you can’t. You can.’”

The Sixty-Fourth Annual Robert R. Lazar Middle School Promotion Ceremony was broadcast live on the Montville Township Public Schools Facebook Page, and can be viewed there anytime. ( https://www.facebook.com/MontvilleTwpSchools/videos/1565958556790056/ )