WEST ORANGE, NJ - Liberty Middle School in West Orange celebrated the graduation of 245 Eighth graders on June 20 at West Orange High School.  The ceremony, which followed the Roosevelt Middle School graduation at 2:00 pm, commenced at 5:00 pm as the auditorium quickly filled with parents, family, administration, and students.

Interim Superintendent James O'Neill welcomed the students and parents of the LMS graduating class and encouraged students to pursue excellence at West Orange School, using the tools that they acquired in middle school.  He exhorted them to take advantage of all the opportunities that awaited them, whether academically, athletically, or extra-curricular, at WOHS.    

West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore welcomed all incoming freshman from the LMS graduating class and said that they would now be known as "Mountaineers of the Graduating Class of 2017."  Students cheered in response.

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Principal Bob Klemt spoke and focused on the academic and community service efforts of the students.  He noted that "success is not demonstrated in a piece of paper, but rather character and effort that defines the work."  He shared that 22 students were on the High Honor Roll (all As); 115 were on the High Honor Roll and Honor Roll; and that 27 students had had perfect attendance for 7-8 grades.

Chorus Teacher John Hellyer led Eighth grade chorus members in a rousing version of "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield, and Band teacher Jay Gitter led the Wind Ensemble in a medley of songs from Les Miserables.  

Special awards were presented by Assistant Principal Aixa Abreu and Social Studies Teacher Chris Todd.

Aira Dolfo, Melanie, Pacheco, and Zoe Weinberg read their essay, poem, and essay during the Creative Achievement awards.

Students Emily Adelsohn and Jalisa Delauney spoke to students and family members in a "Welcome to West Orange High School."

Lauren Volpe, Guidance Counselor, presented the President's Academic Awards.

Diplomas were then given out by Principal Klemt, and teachers Sue Zaccaro, Carmen Gordillo, and Chris Todd.

(Note: The Alternative Press will update this article with the names of LMS Award Winners when they are officially released by LMS).