CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - The 72nd class of eighth-grade Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School students celebrated its achievement Friday morning. The 125 students will move to Croton-Harmon High School to eventually become the graduating class of 2016.
Principal Barbara Ulm described the graduating class as one of, "developing writers, musicians and composers … artists and athletes."
The hot and muggy morning was marked by performances and songs by the students, including "Smoke on the Water," by the PVC jazz band, and "Go the Distance," sung by a group of graduating girls' chorus students.
The ceremony took place on the high school field underneath a white tent large enough to accommodate hundreds of friends and family. Many of the parents who watched their older children graduate high school the previous evening leaned forward to photograph their now-high school teens shaking the middle school principal's hand.
"Just four years ago, I, with so many of my classmates, was nervous about entering middle school," said Sam Roth, student council president. Roth said about his class, "We're no longer the cute little fourth-graders who entered PVC. We're young adults."
The moving up ceremony represented the last ceremony before the summer and the last day of school for students in the district.
Those moving into middle school, said Maya Leveen, 14, "shouldn't worry about it." She said she is looking forward to high school, "We've been in middle school for a while. I'm excited to have the experience," she said.