Submitted by the 2014 Moving On Committee
John Glenn Middle School (JGMS) honored its graduating eighth grade class with a “Moving On” ceremony on June 18, 2014. The ceremony was followed by a dinner and dance, sponsored by the JGMS Middle School Parent Association (MSPA), where the students celebrated their moving on from middle school to high school.
Principal Kevin Tracey and Vice Principal Matthew Mehler presented 201 eighth graders with their certificates of graduation during a light-hearted ceremony. Class President Kieran Garrity provided comical reflections of time at JGMS and in town, and student choirs sang songs including selections from “The Beatles in Revue.”
JGMS presented its first Principal’s Award, to eighth grader Helen Pulizzi, in recognition of her many contributions to the school and student body.
The winners of a logo contest were announced during the ceremony. Winning designs, created by second place winner Nina Knight and first place winners Rachelle Shao, Giuliana Knox, and Fionna Zhang who drew as a group, represented the spirit and unique qualities of JGMS and the memories of the students as they move on to high school from JGMS, in keeping with the Hollywood Red Carpet theme of the event.
For the dinner and dance, JGMS was transformed with Hollywood glamour. A “VIP Entrance” sign directed the night’s celebrities, the graduates, to walk a red carpet through a welcoming large “SHOWTIME” archway flanked by large Oscar statues. Several restaurants generously donated dinner for the graduates and teachers, and, desserts and refreshments, donated by parents, were served.
The dance area was dressed up through the inventiveness of the Moving On team and donations of many. There was a giant sewn cityscape panel, a life-size King Kong, large wood signs with lights, directors’ chairs, and Hollywood Boulevard street signs mixed with Bedford street names. A close look at some of lead actors’ faces in some of many movie theater posters that lined the walls, such as the Dodgeball, Anchorman, Captain America, and Star Wars ones, showed the superimposed faces of Mr. Tracey and Mr. Mehler!
JGMS art teachers Candace Banks and Paul Harrington worked with Moving On to have eighth graders create movie-like posters about their lives, which were displayed at the dance. There also was a “JGMS Walk of Fame” slideshow of over 500 candid photos of the graduates, as submitted by families and the yearbook. Hallways were lined with large 35 mm film print frames of the graduates in baby photos and their current 8th grade yearbook photos, and for a complete Hollywood night, there also was a “paparazzi photo op” area, with a red carpet, backdrop of the winning Moving On logo and Bedford Buc mascot, and most importantly, the nicest paparazzo around, Bedford resident Kevin Latady who continued his tradition, eight years in a row, of taking photos of the kids. Confetti canons closed the night and each student was given a Hollywood swag bag holding a red Moving On shirt emblazoned with the 2014 winning logo.
The night was a great success, and Moving On Co-chairs Mary Lou DeBaryshe and Michelle Saber were thankful of the very many who gave their time, talent, donations, and imagination to make it possible.
Click here to read Thank you to the Moving On Volunteers