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Class of 2028 Celebrates Their Middle School Journey at Moving Up Ceremony

Amid the applause of proud families, faculty, and staff, Grade 8 students celebrated the conclusion of middle school and the commencement of high school at the Grade 8 Moving Up Ceremony on June 7.

“Take a moment to look around you,” said Head of School Carol Maoz as she addressed the middle school graduates. “This is the culmination of countless hours of dedication, both from yourselves and the exceptional teachers who have guided you.” 

Maoz commended the students for their success in making friends, building a community, and exhibiting what it means to live a life of purpose. 

“Eighth grade graduates, as you move on to upper school, know this: You are ready,” Maoz said. “You are equipped with the knowledge, the skills, and the confidence to thrive in an even more challenging environment. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, ask questions, and embrace new opportunities; there will be bumps along the way, but remember that you have a strong foundation built here and a community that will always be cheering you on.” 

Head of Middle School Dr. Josh Deitch celebrated the progress the students' progress in middle school. He channeled the ever-popular Henry Winkler of “Happy Days” fame. 

“Mr. Winkler said that he lives his life by two words: tenacity and gratitude,” said Deitch. “Tenacity ensures that we hold ourselves to high expectations. It requires that we keep striving until we reach those expectations. It demands everything we have in everything we do.  

“Gratitude reminds us that we achieve nothing in isolation,” Deitch continued. “All of our accomplishments are a  group effort, and we should never take that unconditional support and love for granted.”

Deitch encouraged the graduates to remember the strength of being true to themselves.  

“The world needs thoughtful people who lead with their hearts,” he said. “It needs informed citizens. But more importantly, it needs you, a group of young people who are on the precipice of realizing their potential. All of us here are so proud of you. We are all behind you.”

Deitch led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to teacher Ken Lewis, Grade 8 Team Leader, before introducing him to the crowd.

This was the 19th class Lewis watched move up. He said every class has its own personality, and this one is distinct for its passion, intellectual capacity, athleticism, and confidence. 

“They are an unforgettable group,” he said, encouraging the graduates to take risks, rise to challenges, embrace discomfort, ask questions, and trust their instincts.

“Finally, and most importantly, be kind,” said Lewis. “Continue to develop and mature as a person of character and kindness, integrity, and generosity. Become friendly with people from different cliques and different cultures. Think about the difference you can make in the lives of others.”

Lewis introduced the class co-presidents, Brett Schmidt '28 and Theo Zhang '28, who shared the microphone when delivering their reflections.

“As the years of Middle School have gone on, the grades have gotten bigger, and the responsibilities have increased correspondingly,” said Brett.

“Thanks is due to our teachers, those patient guides who nurtured our intellectual curiosity and fostered our growth,” said Theo. “They challenged us to think critically, pushed us beyond our comfort zones, and instilled in us a love of learning that will serve us far beyond the classroom walls.” 

“May we continue to learn, to grow, and perhaps leave our own marks on the world, wherever the destination may be,” said Brett.

“Let us make this next chapter a testament to the growth we’ve achieved,” said Theo.

The ceremony concluded with each student receiving a certificate from Deitch before shaking hands with Head of Upper School Marnie Sadlowsky, symbolizing the end of their middle school experience and the beginning of Upper School. Following the recessional, families joined the students on the North Field, where they celebrated and enjoyed refreshments.  

Download photos from the Grade 8 Moving Up Ceremony here.
Download the 2024 Grade 8 Moving Up Ceremony program here.
Watch the 2024 Grade 8 Moving Up Ceremony on YouTube here.