By Linda White
JGMS Moving On was an evening of both ceremony and celebration for the JGMS 8th grade graduates. Students, families and faculty gathered on Thursday, June 18 in the BHS gymnasium for the annual rite of passage from middle school to high school. The theme of the celebration portion of the evening was fitting for this generation of students who embrace and routinely communicate via social media, Power Up!
Moving On Part I – The Ceremony
Kevin Tracey, JGMS principal, presided over the ceremony and reminded the audience that he and the 8th graders have something in common. “You hold a special place in my heart. We entered JGMS together three years ago and now you leave me behind.” He continued, “To the 8th grade class of 2015, I am very proud of you. In my eyes, you represent a diverse and special group of young ladies and gentlemen. … In the words of your teachers who know you best, this year’s 8th grade class has a true sense of justice and fairness. They are thoughtful, perceptive, clever and open minded. They are spirited (that can be taken both ways!) They are artistic with a flair for the dramatic (also could be taken many ways!) They care about others as evidenced by their service work in and outside of the school. They are quirky and fun. I agree with all of these sentiments and have no doubt that these shared characteristics will lead to your success in the future.”
The Pledge of Allegiance was lead by Julia Palazzo. Principal Tracey shared that she was chosen for this honor and regarded by her counselor and field hockey coach as “kind hearted, intelligent, a driven young lady with a gentle personality, a curious mind and compassionate spirit, who has a passion for life. In her role as captain she beautifully executed the balance of leadership, sportsmanship, talent and class.”
Katy Brown was named the second annual JGMS Principal’s Award recipient. This award is presented to a student who exemplifies the characteristics of kindness, selflessness and respect for others. Tracey relayed to the audience the content of an early morning phone call he received from a Lexington parent three years ago. The parent was literally speechless explaining how Katy had impacted the life of his daughter and family by stopping her cross country meet run to assist his daughter who was having an asthma attack on the course. Katy’s counselor commented, “This student’s smile lights up a room. Her positive energy and empathetic nature make her a natural connector with peers at JGMS. Her resilience and hard work in the face of challenges has set a strong example for our entire school community.” Katy is the only middle school student to be named Athlete of the Week by local media.
JGMS 2015 class president, Cameron Rackey, shared her reflections of the highlights of the class since their days at Davis School. She commented, “When I was thinking about all those years, a few special moments stood out. Who could forget Davis Town with its Davis Town Cafe and Flower Shop, or climbing the rock jetty in Cattail Corner and that moment that everyone eventually experiences of falling in and thinking you might have frogs in your boots. … Lane School’s Talent Show, Project Adventure and Challenge Day that taught us about teamwork, supporting each other and pushing ourselves to do more than we thought we were capable of. …
What are the lessons these years at JGMS have taught us?
- Number 1: Don’t stress. It’s never as bad as you think.
- Number 2: Stay organized. It’ll make everything easier, and
- Number 3: Don’t procrastinate!
JGMS is having friends we’ll keep for the rest of our lives, and that means we really are all in this together. Because once a Buc, always a Buc!” To the delight of her classmates and the audience, Cameron concluded by taking a selfie of herself and the JGMS Class of 2015.
Principal Tracey closed the ceremony with thanks to all who attended and supported the Class of 2015 and with “an enormous thank you to Kerry Rackey, Soraya Stevens and their army of parent volunters who organized the event.”
With thanks to Bedford TV for this video of the 2015 Moving On Ceremony
Moving On Part II – The Celebration
After a short walk from BHS to JGMS, it was clear that the 188 students of the JGMS Class of 2015 were ready to celebrate. They were greeted by the Power Up arch, a supper of favorite foods set up in the brightly decorated cafeteria, a DJ in the gym, a special JGMS photo booth, a green screen to customize the background for their group photos, a Graduates Gallery, and social media images reflective of their generational milieu.
Parent coordinators Kerry Rackey and Soraya Stevens commented, “We sincerely wish to thank the dozens of Moving On volunteers for their hard work in making the night a huge success and a lot of fun for the kids. We specifically thank Karen Poli and Yvonne Cormier in the JGMS front office who were an enormous help to us, as was Jaime Smith in the JGMS IT dept. Also, a huge thanks to Kevin Latady for photographing the Moving On dinner and dance for many, many years. Thank you to our generous sponsors, collegues and friends. They contribute so much every year.”
Sporting their new Class of 2019 Bucs tee shirts and back sacks the class traveled the next day to Canobie Lake Park for a bit of relaxation and fellowship.
Like Elvis, the JGMS Class of 2015 has left the building and are on their way to BHS.
Click images in this gallery to see larger photos by Kevin Latady