The older we get, it seems, the more we fear unfamiliar territory, but when you’re in your early teens, the very thought of moving on sends shivers down your spine. Just ask the 37 Weed eighth graders who graduated June 8th, and they’ll tell you!

“I’m excited about moving on!” Olivia Vilchek said minutes after she received her diploma. “I was nervous at first, but now I can’t wait!”

“I’m not nervous at all,” Adam Skeen laughed. “Entering 9th grade is exciting; I’m happy!”

“I’m excited about going to high school and being with friends from my school and making new friends,” Anahit Yerena said. “I’m looking forward to learning new things and making good grades doing it.”

“There will be a lot of new experiences in high school,” Blake Roy said. “I’m especially looking forward to playing football!”

“We’re like a family, all close, and we all get along together,” Elyssa Fisher, Student Body Vice-President, who delivered the Farewell Address, smiled. “Like Destinee said during her speech, we’re not a class, but a family.”

“But I’m looking forward to moving on; I think we all are,” Fisher added. “I’m excited about being in a new environment, meeting new people, playing on the softball team. The good part about it all is that I’ll be with the family I created here and I get to make a new one. It’s exciting!”

Nearly 300 attended the graduation ceremony.  Balloons, flowers, the cries of infants and the smell of hairspray, perfume, and cologne filled the gym. From the moment the ceremony began to its conclusion, proud family members and friends took pictures; camera flashes charged the air with electricity.

The eighth grade girls wore gossamer gowns and high heels, their hair fashionably coiffed. The eighth grade boys sported ties and dress shirts, slacks and loafers.

The 37 graduating students selected Heather Moyer as their commencement speaker. Three years ago, Moyer had been their fifth grade teacher.

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Coincidentally, it was her first year teaching. “I was honored they chose me,” Moyer smiled. “It was a testament to how strong a bond we had as a group. I remembered that bond; it was a delightful surprise that they did too.”

Moyer compared the group to a first-born child. “You know how it is with firstborns. You work really hard establishing good habits, keeping to a firm schedule and being pretty strict with behavior and rules.”

“But, you have a very deep love and affection for them; the bond with firstborns is not easily broken or duplicated. It is a once-in-a lifetime relationship. “

Moyer encouraged the students to remember they had with each other to turn to as they moved into the unfamiliar territory of high school. “Use that bond for support, guidance, accountability, and reassurance.”

“Know as you leave, you carry all our love, encouragement, faith, can confidence. You are all very prepared for moving to the next level,” she concluded.

“It was a very touching ceremony with great speeches; it brought tears to my eyes,” Michelle Mauro, Title I Teacher said. “I’m very proud of them and it’s exciting to watch them as they move into the next phase of their lives.”

“This was a very lively bunch of students,” Eighth grade teacher Stacy Fussell said. “They kept us on our toes; I wish them the best with their pursuits.”

“I’m very proud of them; they worked hard and I look forward to seeing where they go in the future,” Rachel Oates, the other Eighth grade teacher added.

“This was a great class, filled with scholars and athletes, a good combination of both,” Tag Pimentel, Weed Elementary School teacher said. “They’re pretty much equal to anything they’ll meet as they move ahead.”

“We had a really good class,” Krystal Rubio, who won the Iron Woman Award, said. “We made memories that we’ll never forget. And I’m looking forward to meeting new friends, playing more sports, getting good grades, and having a good time in high school.”

“This is just the beginning for all of these students,” Otilia Rubio, Krystal’s mother, said. “I’m so proud of all of them; I wish them the best and always encourage them to reach for and accomplish their goals. Especially my daughter, of course.”

“The teacher and the staff at our school did a great job with these students, they were good mentors who had faith in and believed in these students. Their dedication prepared them well, so I know they’ll be successful as they leave here and move onto high school,” Rubio added.

“They were a great class,” Principal Alisa Cummings agreed. “I know they’ll be terrific in high school.”

“We’re going to rock their socks off!” Aaron West laughed. “We’re ready to go!”

Weed Eighth Grade Graduating Class Awards

Graduation Awards:  
Kiwanis Citizenship Award: Aaron West and Acacia Coates
Contribution Award: Tyler Bertolucci and Kendall Moser
Math Award: Max Michelon
Outstanding Writing Award: Kayla Moser, Sabrina Kenecokkhamsene
Technology Award: Aaron West and Azucena Fernandez
Scholar Athlete Award: Max Michelon and Samantha Donaldson
Iron woman and man: Krystal Rubio and Vincent Horn
Outstanding Scholar Award: Samantha Donaldson
Most improved education Award: Jose Rodriguez and Olivia Vilchek
ACSA- Samantha Donaldson and Max Michelon

The President’s Award for Educational Achievement.  The purpose of this award is to recognize students that show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment or intellectual development in their academics, but fall short of meeting the criteria for the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. 
These students are:
Acacia Coates, Alicia Corona, Jasmine Gonzalez, Sabrina Kenesockkhamsene, Kayla Moser, Tia Palanvahn, Jose Rodriguez, Aaron West, Krystal Rubio, Stephanie Valencia Mendoza, Olivia Vilchek, Annae Yerena, and Kendal Anderson-Moser

The President’s Award for Educational Excellence.  The purpose of this award is to recognize academic success in the classroom.  To be eligible for the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, students must meet the following requirements: Maintained an overall grade point average of a 3.5 or above in every subject. And achieved advanced or proficient on the standardized test for reading or math. 
These students are: Brian Quigley, Max Michelon, Lyndsey Ceglia Kroger, Destinee Jones, Elyssa Fisher, and Samantha Donaldson

Weed 2011 Eighth Grade Graduates

Kendall Glen Anderson-Moser,
Tyler Joseph Bertolucci
Rashaan O’Neal Broomfield
James William Brunello, Jr.
Robert Lee Burwell
Jorge Alejandro Carrillo
Lyndsey Erin Ceglia-Kroeger
Acacia Joy Coates
Antwon D’Maria Coleman
Alicia Aurora Corona
James Allen Dickson, Jr.
Samantha Rylie Donaldson
Azucena Fernandez Delgado
Elyssa Marie Fisher
Zachary William Garland
Jasmine Ayde Gonzalez
Vincent EugeneHorn
Destinee Alexis Jones
Sabrina Asia Kenesockkhamsene
Devante lee
Michael A lee, II
Stephanie Valencia Mendoza
Maxwell Michelon
Kayla Moser
Ian Michael Nova
Mallory Elizabeth O’Connell
Tia Kaylee Palangvanh
Brian Quigley
Jose A Rodriguez Fernandez
Blake Alan Roy
Krystal Ashley Rubio
Adam Eugene Skeen
Olivia Marie Vilchek
Aaron Frank West
Kayla Dechiane Woods
Anahit Yerena
Samuel David Yoakum