EDISON, NJ -- The eighth grade class of 2016 moved on to the Wardlaw-Hartridge's Upper School during its Stepping Up ceremony on Wednesday, June 8.

It was a memorable evening that began with a processional to "Rondeau" and continued with the Pledge of Allegiance and everyone singing "America the Beautiful."  Maggie Granados of Montclair, Middle School Head, welcomed the students, parents, friends and other members of the W-H community.

Andrew Webster of Edison, Head of School, began the announcement of award winners by presenting scholar awards to Camila Fang of Edison and Sydney Johnson of Piscataway and an achievement award to Sydney Kuo of Edison. Mr. Webster also recognized the lifers among this year's eighth grade graduates.

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Anna O'Connell of Plainfield presented the Streib Cup to Emma Jacobson of Metuchen. This award is given for the highest achievement in public speaking among sixth and seventh graders.

Sydney Rose of Watchung, who won the eighth grade public speaking contest and the privilege to be the speaker at the Middle School Stepping Up Ceremony, delivered a wonderful speech about her middle school memories.

Sydney Johnson '20 won the prestigious Kilpatrick Award, which is presented to the best all-around eighth grade student. Criteria for this award include academics, athletics, citizenship and leadership. Jane Anderson-Schmitt of Scotch Plains won the Chandler Award for the eighth grade student with the highest overall average for the academic year. Ricardo Garces of North Brunswick received the Elwell Award as the outstanding male athlete and Julia Parker of South Plainfield won the Lum Award as the outstanding female athlete.

Mayah Nissim of Scotch Plains won the Althea Marder Pond Award for excellence in the performing arts and Jane Anderson-Schmitt won the Althea Marder Pond Award for outstanding work in the fine arts.

Nancy Duddy of Westfield, Middle School History Co-Chair, recognized eighth grade student council members with special pins.

Editor's Note: Wardlaw-Hartridge is an adveertiseer of TAPinto.net.