PHOTO: A student celebrates with a classmate during Elm Middle School's May 23 graduation ceremony. Click here for the 2017 graduation photo gallery.
The 8th-grade Class of 2017 — some 220 students strong — said farewell to Elm Middle School in a graduation ceremony held Tuesday, May 23, at Elm Gym.
The students received their diplomas from the District 401 Board of Education as proud family members looked on.
The program began at 6:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Elm student Skylat Perez.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kevin M. Anderson and Board member Mr. Peter A. Volpe addressed the audience, followed by student speakers Konstance Kakridas, Andrea Ormaza and Maya Wojtowicz.
PHOTO: Board of Education President Mrs. Mary Bruscato congratulates a member of the Class of 2017 during Elm Middle School's May 23 graduation ceremony.
Students Gabriel Garcia and Alexa Duarte received Elm's prestigious Cougar Pride Award, presented each year to two students who display exemplary leadership qualities and who embody the Elm values of kindness, commitment and compassion.
All faculty members are invited to submit nominations; the nominated students are then voted on by the entire faculty. This year 12 students were nominated. The honors were announced by Elm math teacher Mrs. Laura Laux and presented by Assistant Principal Dr. Cody Huisman.
Elm Principal Dr. Kathleen Porreca presented the Class of 2017 to the Board, and art teacher Ms. Karen Korteling read each student's name as the 8th graders received their diplomas.
Each student shook hands with Board members Mrs. Mary Bruscato (president), Mrs. Andrea Sciullo (vice president), Mrs. Sue Capraro (secretary), Mr. Frank J. Parisi, Mr. Jonathan Rivera and Mr. Volpe as well as with Dr. Anderson, Dr. Porreca and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade, who will succeed Dr. Anderson as Superintendent on July 1.
Afterward, the new graduates reunited with their families, posed for pictures and enjoyed the moment — a fitting end to two years of hard work by students and parents alike.
Congratulations, Elm Class of '17!
Photos from the 2017 Elm Graduation Ceremony
NOTE: The following photos are also available in a slideshow format, which can be found here. Click any of the photos to see an enlarged view. District 401 photos are by Dave Porreca. Lifetouch photos are used with permission.