Moving Up 2023-Article, Videos, Photos
In a memorable ceremony between a few raindrops, our WMS 8th graders moved up today on the new turf field!
Principal Anthony Mungioli introduced The Meistersingers who sang the National Anthem. He then welcomed the crowd, addressed his students, and thanked parents, staff, and The Board of Education, “Thank you for your dedication to our students!”
He introduced Superintendent Peter Giarrizzo for some inspiring remarks. He first addressed their teachers, “WMS teachers, we are all grateful to you. I was a middle school teacher myself, so I know a thing or two about middle learnins. They can be goofy, aloof, full of wonder and joy, create tumult for themselves and their parents and teachers. It is your job everyday to help them find their voices, chase curiosity, let them trip over their own feet once in a while.
He then turned his focus to the 8th graders. “I raised two middle school children so I know that right now you are half listening, would rather be with friends, thinking of the celebrations planned for later.” Of course everyone laughed.
“I have a couple questions for you all. First, how about this venue?” HUGE APPLAUSE! “Second, Has anyone ever told you you've said or done something outrageous? Well that is not an insult, it’s actually developmentally appropriate. Miguel de Cervantes said, ‘In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.’ This is your time to try new things. Westlake has your back! Take advantage of this. Balance being a little out there with hard work. One request, this summer, read The Alchemist; it is a quick summer read. I encourage you to be right, be brave, be beautiful, be brilliant, be you! Go be the very best you you can be. We are proud of you! Congratulations!”
The eighth grade band collaborated one last time on “The Red Cape.” Then two students spoke to their peers. The first said “Many of you may be nervous about moving up. It is so much pressure! Here is my advice: love what you do; take initiative; if you believe you will succeed; put school ahead of distractions; and treat people with respect. Together we can achieve what we are after. Good luck to us!”
The next speaker quoted Sheryl Snadberg, “‘Leadership is about making others better.’” She continued, “We have faced difficulties but we showed up and did our job. Life is tough but so are we! This is just the beginning of our journey. We are strong. We are resilient. We are Westlake!”
“Being on this field is incredible; it’s the future,” said Mr. Mungioli. In his final address to the students as 8th graders, he complimented them for who they are and congratulated them, “You are inquisitive, active, you love to be involved. You have strong convictions, but are still willing to listen. You appreciate the value of the smile and the laugh.”
WHS Principal Keith Schenker closed the ceremony by welcoming his newest students, congratulating them, and presenting the WHS Class of 2027.