SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Roosevelt Elementary School held a Promotion Ceremony for the 4th Grade Class of 2018 on Thursday June 14th in the school auditorium to celebrate the students’ promotion to Grant School next year. Parents and relatives lined the aisles and snapped photos as the procession of students made their way into school’s auditorium wearing green Roosevelt 2018 T-shirts.
Student Council Vice President Corey Calderone began the ceremony with the Flag Salute.
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen to this very special morning,” said Principal Robert Diehl. “Today we recognize the 4th grade students formally with their promotion ceremony.”
Diehl introduced the 4th grade teachers to hand out the promotion award certificates and say a few words.
“We had a great year this past year,” said Teacher Susan Fenning. “All of you have grown up so much…You reached beyond the limits and you have so much more to reach for, not just in Grant, but in high school and college. It’s great to know what some of your dreams are and to have learned about you this last year. I wish you the best.”
With that, Fenning called her students up one by one to receive their certificate. Filled with excitement and tears, the ceremony continued with each 4th grade teacher offering their congratulations to their students.
“It’s sad to say good bye to friends and teachers,” said Teacher Alyson Oller. “But let me tell you, next school year will be the beginning of the most wonderful, memorable and exciting part of your lives…I am proud of each every one of you. Congratulations to you and all your accomplishments and hard work.”
“Thank you to the parents for entrusting us with your children every day,” said Teacher Laura Mottley during her turn at the podium. “It has been a year of hard work, learning and lots of laughs. I will truly miss each and every one of you. Best of luck in 5th grade. I know you’re all going to do a wonderful job.”
“You guys have truly amazed me,” said Teacher Kathleen Simpson. “You came in nervous 4th graders and we became a family and I looked forward to my 18 children…Always reach for the stars in every day of your life because you’re all capable of doing it. You guys are the best and I am really going to miss you. Parents, thank you for trusting me with your children. I love them as if they are my own.”
As the students settled into their seats after receiving their promotion awards, 4th grader Charlotte Taber, the Roosevelt School 2017-1018 Student Council President, began her speech, recounting her very first day of school in Roosevelt.
“Looking back on the first day of school, I got butterflies in my stomach and was so nervous to see what was going to happen next,” said Taber. “What happened next was that the butterflies disappeared…I learned how to read and write, about responsibility and trust. These are the things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and now I am standing here before you as a 4th grader ready to start a new journey.”
Taber continued, thanking all of the amazing teachers for their guidance, patience and encouragement. She also thanked the school nurse for caring for them when they were sick.
“I would like to give a huge thanks to Mr. Diehl, our wonderful principal, for being there all of the time to keep the whole school safe,” continued Taber. “Finally, I would like to thank all of the 4th graders. I would like to congratulate everyone as we move onto 5th grade.”
The students then stood for the musical presentation of Tyrone Wells’ song “Time of Our Lives,” singing the lyrics, “We have had the time of our lives, now the page is turned, the stories we will write…”
As everyone wiped tears from their eyes, Diehl thanked the teachers, parents, office staff, nurse and PTO for everything they did to contribute to the education of the 4th graders. He also congratulated the 4th graders for doing such a good job in their studies and in being respectful and kind.
“Most of these 4th graders came to us a kindergarten students, not knowing how to form letters, and they are leaving here with an impressive resume,” said Deihl. “We’re very proud of them. They’ve done a great job. We’re going to miss them a great deal.”
Diehl continued, offering advice for the students as they progress through school and beyond.
“Be nice to people,” said Diehl. “People are attracted to nice people. Make that a part of who you are an individuals. Listen to your teachers and be nice to people - that is a guarantee for your success. And remember, you are always Roosevelt students!”
The students were then invited to sit down in chairs lined up in front of the stage to view a very special video presentation created by the Roosevelt PTO of photos taken throughout the students’ time in Roosevelt. The video of memories began with baby pictures of each child and transitioned to kindergarten and throughout grade school to the present day.
After the presentation, the students took their places throughout the aisles to dance and sing, “Best Day of My Life” by the American Authors.
And for their final time as 4th graders, the children sang the school theme song, “We Are Roosevelt’s Children,” a song that has been sung by generations of Roosevelt students.
“We are Roosevelt’s children and we’re here to celebrate,” the class sang together. “Living, learning and growing, in a school that’s really great…Sing it loud, sing it loud, oh Roosevelt, we love you!”
As the song concluded, the children hugged their families and friends. Some students shed tears, sad to leave their elementary school behind. Others cheered with excitement at the prospect of going to Grant next year. But the general sentiment expressed by everyone present was of pride for the accomplishments of the young students and great hope for what’s to come.