Finley Eighth Graders Are Ready for High School

Finley Eighth Graders Are Ready for High School  thumbnail121111

Eighth grade students at Robert M. Finley Middle School bid farewell to middle school at their moving-up ceremony on June 21.

The evening began with the seventh grade band playing “Pomp and Circumstance” as students processed into the school’s auditorium. It continued with Nathan Napolitano leading those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance. Finley’s top two eighth graders, Morgan Starke and Brooke Tran, addressed their classmates at the ceremony. Morgan’s speech, “The Value of a Moment” reflected on the memories the class made since sixth grade, while Brooke’s focused on “Embracing the Future.” Tran encouraged her peers to think about the future but live in the present.  

Principal Nelson Iocolano referenced a quote that he heard recited by Congressman Thomas Suozzi when addressing the class. The quote was from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “A Proper Sense of Priorities,” which decried the waste of money and precious young lives in Vietnam.  

“‘Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.’

“I want you to remember Dr. King’s words. Especially when faced with seemingly small issues, where perhaps doing what is right may seem inconsequential; and it may be the tougher road, but because of the potential personal risk or perhaps even the potential for personal benefit, you may be tempted to look the other way,” Mr. Iocolano said. “In those quiet moments, when you are faced with a choice, if, in the words of Dr. King, you ‘take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one that is right,’ you will affect the world in positive ways.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maria Rianna acknowledged the students’ excitement at becoming freshman. She also gave students some advice for the future.

“School counts; you are now on your way to a place that you’ll make your own. That place is the beginning of the rest of your lives. Some of you already know what you want to be, others not so sure, some may change their minds, but over the next four years you will be provided and continue to be provided with new coursework in areas of interest to you that can open a new door. Areas that you can explore and learn about an opportunity to explore who you are,” Dr. Rianna said. “Take those chances. Give yourself every opportunity. You may find a path you may not have taken otherwise.”     

After Dr. Rianna’s comments, students were presented with certificates marking their completion of the eighth grade. They also enjoyed an outstanding musical performance by eighth grader Elle Woska, who sang “I Hope You Dance.” They later danced and took photos at the annual eighth grade dance.