Compiled by The Bedford Citizen
Nearly every seat in the Bedford High School gymnasium was occupied on Thursday, June 20 evening when the 213 members of the John Glenn Middle School Class of 2018 became the BHS Class of 2022.
Incheol Ha, who attained his US Citizenship on June 7 after a 9-year process, led the Pledge of Allegiance to open the ceremonies. In describing him, Principal Kevin Tracey quoted Incheol’s track coach, “He is a stand-up young man. He is a gentle soul, who is caring, insightful with an impressive quiet strength and courage. The words ‘sincere and kind’ immediately come to mind and he welcomes working with anyone. He likes to joke, laugh and share stories with friends and he is a very well-respected student by all of our JGMS staff.”
Tracey went on to acknowledge Matthew Mehler who is leaving his position as JGMS assistant principal to become principal of the Carlisle Middle School, “You have been an incredible asset to the students, staff, me and the entire JGMS community. We wish you all the best and I see a good rivalry developing in the near future!”
Principal Tracey Spoke to the Class of 2018
Addressing the graduates, Tracey shared his pride in the Class, citing their accomplishments over the past three years,”…from successes in MathCounts, You Be The Chemist, Geography Bee and Tenacity Challenge to Division 4 State Champs in X-C, dominating performances in track and field, softball with a 91% winning average dropping only 3 games in 3 years to boys’ basketball going winless last year and 11-1 with a league title this year.. to 11 separate nominations by the MA Educational Theater Guild for Honk, Jr. …”
Tracey went on to share thoughts from teachers and staff:
“As a whole, this class is incredibly hardworking and driven. They express a willingness to take social risks whether it be to reach out to others for friendship or trying activities in which they may not be at first comfortable. Wow! You are a talented group of students, athletes and performers.”
“You, both as individuals and in part as a group, have been through a great deal. From personal loss to managing anxieties from growing pressures of an often tumultuous world, you have looked out for one another, stayed focused, motivated, thoughtful, reflective, persistent and fun-loving.”
“Mr. Casey sums it up well…good energy, great camaraderie coupled with a good sense of humor- one of the best classes we have had here in JGMS in recent memory. You will be missed.”
Honors Essay and Academic Awards
The Class of 2018 Honors Essay was presented by Kengo Okada who reflected on the past “1,019 days ago, and yes I did the math!”
He described growth in body — jumping up to touch the tops of door frames that are now easily reached; in sophistication — from video games to Fortnite dances; and in field trips – especially the recent class visit to Washington, D.C.
Photographs in the Newseum prompted Okada to reflect on life in Bedford compared to other parts of the world, “We all have different situations good and bad outside of school, but when we come into [JGMS] we are one big community.”
Vanessa Mangini and Sara Berinato presented the 2018 Academic Awards
- Math: Mary Stewart, Matt Goodhue, Nikita Nemirovsky, Angela Gu
- Science: Dylan DiGangi, Cynthia Li, Niles Liu, Harsheni Sudukar
- Social Studies: Kaitlyn Noh, Jarrett Gath, Alexandra Zorn, Andy Zhou
- World Languages: Suzie Marcus, Jackie Stewart, Isabella Fernald, Ana Protasowicki
- Engineering Education: Dylan DiGangi, Suzie Marcus
- English: Kai Etringer, Insun Hong, Vishal Borra, Sarina Oliveri-Kuhnle
- Music: Colin O’Toole, Ethan Lee
- Physical Education/Wellness: Dylan DiGangi, Alexandra Zorn
- Art: Emma Mowell, Elise Harfield
- Citizenship Award: Adam Paugh, Insun Hong, Joel Newman, Kiera Doyle
HEART – someone who is Honorable, Empathetic, Accepting, Responsible, and Tenacious – is central to the JGMS community. With that in mind, Principal Tracey found it hard to identify a single recipient for the Sixth Annual Principal’s Award, so he chose two, Allie Zorn and Dylan DiGangi.
“Allie Zorn has purposefully worked hard to build connections with our LABBB program, even creating an activity without any adult prompting to foster relationships and has volunteered regularly to help with Special Olympics. When asked to tackle a pro-social problem and create an action plan to solve it, she very maturely described a plan to create a better school for children with autism- I had the pleasure of seeing the thoughtful proposal.”
Principal Tracey’s crystal ball for Allie Zorn reads, “Future multi-sport team captain, head of Best Buddies and student leader at BHS.”
Dylan DiGangi is inclusive and kind, he is quick to reach out when a peer is struggling. He always welcomes a challenge as an opportunity- One staff remarked, sweet and polite young man- I’ve never seen him say or do anything negative to anyone. He is a leader with untapped potential, who has dealt with adversity with grace and maturity.
Principal Tracey’s crystal ball for Dylan DiGangi says, “Future student representative for school committee, potential class president…sky’s the limit for this guy…A wonderfully charismatic gentleman.
Nikita Nemerovsky and Emma Mowell presented a recipe book with contributions from each student to Ms. McDermott.
Diplomas were distributed, and the newly-minted BHS Class of 2022 trooped off to JGMS for “It’s a Shore Thing,” the annual Moving On party hosted by the Middle School Parents Association.
Watch the livestreamed video of the ceremony on Bedford TV’s YouTube page. NB: the ceremony begins around minute 33.
Moving On ~ The Dinner/Dance
Dozens of parent volunteers prepared for months and on Wednesday transformed the JGMS cafeteria, hallways and gym into a tropical beach paradise. The entrance to the cafeteria became a beach-themed boardwalk aligning with the Moving On theme, It’s a Shore Thing. The students dined on food donated by local area restaurants, followed by a spread of delicious desserts provided by 8th-grade parents. A big hit of the evening was the donut wall created by JGMS parents Lisa Harrell and Meg McAllister.
After dinner, there was a photo booth, generously donated by an anonymous parent, and a walk down memory lane where the walls were lined with photos of the students from their toddler years to their middle school years. The gym became a tropical paradise for fun with corn hole, volley ball, a DJ and lots of dancing.
About Moving On
Moving On has been a JGMS tradition for 20 or more years. Paula Gilarde and Susan DiGangi chaired this year’s event, with key committee heads Gretchen Kind, Emily Mitchell, Lariza Panagiotou, Akshay Thotangare, Melisa Perez, Robin Comley, Tami Mead, Karen Guetersloh, Robin Steele, Hima Naidu, Laura & Bill Keating, Jennifer Buckley, Alicia Mici, Namrata Shah and Jane Patterson along with a host of parent volunteers whose contributions and donations made this event possible.