JFK Fifth-Graders Look Ahead to Middle School

JFK Fifth-Graders Look Ahead to Middle School 1

For fifth-graders at JFK, the morning for moving up arrived on June 20, closing one chapter in their schooling and looking ahead to middle school.

“The moving up ceremony is always a bittersweet day for both the teaching and administrative staff,” said Principal Susan Bonner. “We look at how far the children have grown academically over the three years they have been with us and hope we have made an impact on their lives. We send them off to the middle school where they will continue to become well prepared to be productive citizens of our Deer Park community.”

The event began with a rendition of the national anthem by Julia Kotliar and Angelique Jean-Pierre, followed by welcoming speeches by Bonner and fifth-grade Student Government President Julia Holland. Prior to the students’ receiving their moving up certificates, several fifth-graders were presented with awards.

Andrew Ellner won the New York State Comptrollers Achievement Award, presented to a student who demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service, while Tatiana Arezzo and Jackson Lamanna were the winners of the Amanda Malloy Memorial Award, created to honor students who lead and value a healthy lifestyle.

The D.C. Raymond Downey Scholarship Charity Fund was created as a tribute to Chief Downey’s legacy. Jessica Miranda and Alec Tchinnis were honored on behalf of the Downey family,

Thomas Sweeny from the country executive’s office presented the County Executive Public Service Award, which recognizes a student who has successfully combined academic success with a commitment to the community. Branden Raines was this year’s recipient.

The Kathy Miller Award is given in memory of Robert Frost Middle School special education teacher Kathleen Miller to students who are children of SEPFC members. According to Bonner, the recipients of this award – Anaya Cruz, Anthony L. Gotay, Preston Punger and Alec Tchinnis – are conscientious, motivated and respectful to their peers and staff, having faced obstacles and worked hard to overcome them in order to succeed.   

“All of these young people are the definition of hard work, dignity and perseverance,” Bonner said.

A joyous version of Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” was sung by the entire class. Rihanna Sayed, the fifth-grade Student Government vice president, then delivered farewell remarks, and the students joined their families to celebrate this momentous next step in their educations.