The Eighth Grade Class of 2017 at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison completed its Middle School journey during the Stepping Up Ceremony on Wednesday, June 14 .

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, Middle School Head, welcomed the students, parents, friends and other members of the W-H community.

Andrew Webster, Head of School, began the announcement of award winners by presenting merit awards to Anna Razvi of Somerset and Neil Shah of Edison and achievement awards to Olivia Brown of South Plainfield and Shaan Jasti of Colonia. Mr. Webster also recognized the lifers among this year's eighth grade graduates.

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Emma Jacobson of Metuchen presented the Streib Cup to Jeni Lynn Vargas of Dunellen. This award is given for the highest achievement in public speaking among sixth and seventh graders.

Camila Martinez of Scotch Plains, 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 the teachers and advisors.

Scott Greaney of Scotch Plains and Neil Shah finished in a tie to win 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. Anna Razvi won the Chandler Award for the eighth grade student with the highest overall average for the academic year. Scott Greaney received the Elwell Award as the outstanding male athlete and Nadia Valcourt of South Plainfield won the Lum Award as the outstanding female athlete.

Neil Shah and Jason Kisare of Bridgewater won the Althea Marder Pond Award for excellence in the performing arts and Camila Martinez won the Althea Marder Pond Award for outstanding work in the fine arts.

Congratulations to the Eighth Grade Class of 2017!