Marking a Milestone: 8th Grade Moves Up to High School

The Harrison Central School District celebrated the Louis M. Klein Middle School 8th Grade Class of 2024 at a ceremony at the Harrison High School Performing Arts Center on June 25, 2024. The celebration included remarks from administrators, students, and Board of Education President Kelly Kozak, and a performance by the 8th Grade Chorus. The ceremony began with a moment of silence in memory of Mark-Anthony Giordano, a recently deceased classmate of the 8th graders. Scott Fried, the LMK Principal, shared, “Tonight, when students walk across this stage, Mark walks with you at your side and celebrates with you. We will all have part of Mark with us.” 

Fried thanked parents for the gift of their children and urged students to remember the people who have been with them along the way—parents, family, teachers, staff, and administrators. He also shared a story about former Brooklyn Dodger Carl Erskine, a friend and supporter of the great Jackie Robinson. He encouraged the students to be like the ballplayer, “Be the person who stands up for others, learns from others, and rejects those who say people cannot or should not.” 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Louis Wool addressed the students and shared that they are “the best gift givers I have ever seen”  because they “see, welcome, and celebrate” those around them. Mark-Anthony had only been in the Harrison schools for three short years and yet was made to feel an important part of the community. According to Dr. Wool, “There has never been a class that lived the mission of our school district better than this 8th grade.” He concluded by asking students to never forget the “magic in seeing and caring for those around them.”

Board of Education President Kelly Kozak thanked the community for supporting the Harrison schools and believing in the children and acknowledged the dedication of administrators, faculty, staff, and Dr. Wool. She reminded students to “seek new opportunities, forge new friendships, and face new challenges. Cherish every moment and make the most of your time” at Harrison High School.

Two student speakers shared reflections on “Looking Back” and “Looking Forward.”

Joseph Portocarrero reflected on how everyone at LMK was always willing to answer all his questions, remembering LMK felt “so welcoming” when he arrived in 6th grade. Eduarda de Farias remembered her journey to LMK from Brazil just three years ago and how she had yet to learn English. “I was embraced by my new friends, caring teachers and administrators, and a community that welcomed diversity.” She reminded her classmates “to be a renewed source of love, strength, and support for one another as we take our first steps on a new path, and may we always remember this one simple truth: that life is all about the journey, and not just about the destination.”