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After receiving their promotion certificates June 8, the Quincy Elementary School sixth-graders are now the Quincy High School Class of 2029. Photo by Debra Moore

QES sixth-graders celebrate their promotion to be the QHS Class of 2029

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

It wasn’t the outdoor beach-themed promotion ceremony that they planned, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the sixth-graders, and their friends and family as they crowded into the Quincy Elementary School cafeteria for a send-off.

With thunder clouds threatening, Principal Lara Hollister said that they made the difficult decision to move the festivities indoors the evening of June 8.

As the students walked down the center aisle to the stage, Hollister read off their names, their favorite experiences, the people that they wanted to thank and what they hoped to be when they were older. Their favorite experiences included whitewater rafting, the polar plunge and Camp Fred (the outdoor education camp.) Students almost unilaterally thanked their families and friends, but it’s always the what-they-plan-to-do-in-the-future that proves the most interesting. Here is a sampling from the 43 who attended the promotion ceremony: major league baseball players, NASA engineers, firefighters, race car driver, police officer, stock car racer, marine biologist, nurse, doctor, video game developers, film director, programmer, stockbroker, heavyweight fighter and animator.

After they settled into their chairs, Hollister welcomed the audience and thanked all those who made this night possible – the teachers and staff of QES and the students’ families. She asked her staff to stand and said, “We are grateful to you for the dedication you have shown our students. They have learned a great deal from you, not just about math, science, reading and writing. But how to be good citizens and friends.”

Sixth-grade teachers Megan Stewart and Chris Pamperin addressed their students. First-year teacher Stewart reflected on how much the students had changed since the beginning of the school year and said how much she would miss them. Pamperin followed with words of advice using the ABCs as a base, beginning with A for Afraid. He told the students that they would be afraid at times, but to not let fear stop them. After going through the entire alphabet, he concluded with Z for Zip up your backpacks one last time.

Student Council President Lena Jedra and Vice President Adelia Steward addressed the audience and their classmates. “This is a class that will always be there for each other,” Lena said, while Adelia encouraged everyone to “celebrate this next step.”

Macy Peay, the incoming Quincy High School student body president and a former president of the Quincy Elementary School student council, welcomed the students to QHS as the Class of 2029 and discussed the transition from being the oldest students in the school to being the youngest again. She encouraged them to participate in activities and to learn from everything that they do.

Then it was time for the awards. Hollister presented the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement first. This award is presented to students who achieved more than expected in one academic year of learning. They are: Holden Franklin, Bradley McMorrow, Colton Meeks, Zach Shepler, Corbin Villegas, Kade Driscoll, Cooper Hays, Jesse Hogg, Jake Huynh, Carly Hachtel, Charlise Holmes-Shower, Aria Lowery and Liam Burkhead.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence was presented to students who have not only grown in their studies, but have achieved the highest marks: Loralai Daon, Blake English, Adelia Steward and Lena Jedra.

The following students received the Cougar Award for consistently demonstrating a growth mindset, being curious and conscientious risk-takers, and leading their peers with kindness and compassion: Lena Jedra, Colton Meeks, Blake English, Cooper Hays, Adelia Steward, Ijaiah Thomas, Zach Shepler, Corbin Villegas and Ronald Hughbanks.

Principal Hollister then remembered Tony McGirr “who left us in the third grade.” His family was in the audience as she described his infectious laughter and how he taught everyone to “appreciate the world around us.” A bench and weeping birch tree have been placed in his honor outside the third-grade wing. These symbols remind us of his love for nature and provide a peaceful spot for reflection,” she said.

Then it was time for the big moment. Each student received their promotion certificate and were congratulated by the teachers at QES before joining their families and friends to celebrate.

 

Sixth-grade teacher Chris Pamperin addresses the students. Principal Lara Hollister is seated to the right. Photo by Debra Moore
Principal Lara Hollister applauds the students who earned the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. This award is presented to students who achieved more than expected in one academic year of learning. Photo by Debra Moore
These students received the Cougar Award for consistently demonstrating a growth mindset, being curious and conscientious risk-takers, and leading their peers with kindness and compassion. Photo by Debra Moore
Elias Eccles is all smiles as he is photographed by friends and family holding his certificate. Photo by Debra Moore

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