SUMMIT, NJ - Congratulations, Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS)) Class of 2017. Welcome, Summit High School Class of 2021.

In the early evening hours of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the gone-in-the-blink-of-an-eye days of being a middle schooler reached a conclusion for eighth grade students in graduation ceremonies held on the LCJSMS athletic field.

While one chapter of the students' book of life came to a close, another one is about to begin as they get set to matriculate to the Kent Place Boulevard campus.

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After greetings and the introduction of the Pledge of Allegiance by LCJSMS Student Council President Caroline Moy, Student Council Vice President Hannah McGrath introduced Summit Superintendent of Public Schools June Chang who offered congratulatory remarks to the about-to-be graduates and their families in attendance.

Appropriately, LCJSMS student Mechado Stewartson then took to the podium to present the 'Ryder's Challenge' Community Service Certificate to Summit Mayor Nora Radest, reflecting the 7,038.5 hours of volunteer good works performed by the eighth grade class. Stewartson earned the honor the ceremonial task as he was the school leader in community service hours performed.

Reflecting a theme of how quickly their three years at the Morris Avenue campus passed, student Anthony Yu delivered a speech entitled 'Blink of an Eye' in which he talked about the wonderment of arriving at LCJSMS as the then-sixth graders and discovering "just how much bigger it was than our elementary schools" and evolving to life as an eighth grader where their confidence to achieve their goals was has grown exponentially.

After a musical performance by the Eighth Grade Graduation Chorus -- under the direction of Daniel King, accompanied by Robert John Burke on piano and Xander Haselmann on Drums and featuring soloists Juliette Gringeri and Annabelle Avelino -- LCJSMS Principal Damen Cooper told the graduates that "if your journey was a 400-meter race, you are just getting out of the blocks," and stressed that kindness, hard work, the ability to overcome setbacks and adversity, and perseverance will serve them well as they continue their academic and personal sojourn.

Award Recipients

High Honor Roll for Eleven Marking Periods

Isabel Claus
Jessica Friedman
Charlotte Girouard
Emily Hong
Alexander Jones
Kiran McCormick
Jack McGarity
Caroline Moy
Daniel Naiman
Jolan Schluter
Riley Sidebottom
Meghan Tarashuk
Katya Wardle
Hallie Williams

Ryder's Challenge Community Service Award

Mechado Stewartson

Catherlyn L. Williams Journey of Excellence Award

Anna Gilbert

Principal’s Award for Student Leadership

Caroline Moy