EDISON, NJ -- The Eighth Grade Class of 2019 at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison completed its Middle School journey during the Stepping Up Ceremony on Wednesday, June 12 in the Berry Performing Arts Center.

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. Dr. Corinna Crafton of Edison, 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 merit awards to David Ezra Flatau-Jones of Scotch Plains, Annie Gu of Edison and Nicholas Vargas of Dunellen and an achievement award to Nelagh Matthews of Metuchen. Mr. Webster also recognized the lifers among this year's eighth grade graduates.

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David Ezra Flatau-Jones presented the Streib Cup to Anushka Dalal of Scotch Plains. This award is given for the highest achievement in public speaking among sixth and seventh graders. Annie Gu, 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 and expressed gratitude to classmates, teachers and parents.

Annie Gu 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. She also won the Chandler Award for the eighth grade student with the highest overall average for the academic year. Jamei Schenck of Somerset received the Elwell Award as the outstanding male athlete and Bronwyn Russell of East Windsor won the Lum Award as the outstanding female athlete.

Ariel Wang of Edison won the Althea Marder Pond Award for outstanding work in the fine arts, while Annie Gu won the Althea Marder Pond Award for excellence in the performing arts. Matthew Faust of Westfield and Ravi Nanavati of Plainfield received Community Service Awards. Kirsten Rogers of Parlin recognized eighth grade student council members with special pins.

Dr. Crafton made remarks and provided some words of wisdom before joining Mr. Webster and advisors Nancy Duddy, Ian McElroy and Esther Faus in the presentation of certificates.

Congratulations to the Eighth Grade Class of 2019!

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School is Central Jersey’s premier PreK-12 independent school. The campus is located at 1295 Inman Ave. in North Edison, near the Scotch Plains border and just five miles from downtown Westfield. It is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational day school that prepares students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection. Wardlaw+Hartridge provides an educational atmosphere characterized by academic challenge, support for individual excellence, diversity, and a familial sense of community.