Moving Moments - At Cherry Avenue
at Cherry’s Moving Up
Before the expected rain had moved in, the Cherry Avenue Moving-Up Ceremony began with the ceremonial Processional, Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of the National Anthem.
Immediately after his welcome, Cherry Avenue Principal Dr. John Stimmel followed the long Sayville tradition of “passing the torch” for the class of students to Middle School Principal Thomas Murray. Mr. Murray assured the incoming sixth-graders that they had been well prepared for Middle School and that he was “excited to welcome you to Sayville Middle. You will learn, you will have fun, and I promise you, you will get through it all.”
Representing NYS Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, Susan Connelly (a Sayville resident) presented the Triple C Awards to Abigail Newman and Daniel McCabe, two students who were recognized for their commitments to better themselves, their school, their community, for their strength of character, and their remarkable courage.
Dr. Stimmel also announced other awards that recognized distinctive qualities of character and citizenship such as the County Executive Public Service Award to Alexa Villez, the N.Y.S. Comptroller’s Achievement Award to Michael Lofaro and the Majorie Kemper Awards to two students Jack Luceri and Brigid Lipari.
Physical Education teacher Jennifer Fee listed the students who achieved Presidential Physical Fitness as well as the two Suffolk Zone Physical Fitness Awards: Ryan Hendrickson and Chloe Argenziano. After, the recipients of the Presidential Awards for Education Excellence as well as Educational Achievement were called forward for recognition.
Presiding Officer William J. Lindsay took the podium and shared a moving story that personally connected the Cherry Avenue students “doing the right thing” and a family member, Mr. Lindsay’s nephew, who served with distinction in Iraq. In 2006-2007, his nephew was a member of a scout-unit of nine, which was involved in dangerous advance missions. During that same time, the Cherry Avenue candy-for-troops campaign sent “lots of candy” to the troops, (including his nephew). “He got so much candy, he said, ‘Uncle Bill, I don’t know what to do with it all,’” Mr. Lindsay explained. “So what they started doing was, when they would go into some of these small Iraqi towns, they would distribute the candy to the Iraqi street kids who were always around. As soon as they saw the units coming, the kids would come out into the street for the candy…. Here’s the unknown factor that probably saved some of those boys’ lives, including my nephew’s; When they didn’t see the street kids coming out for the candy, they knew there was an ambush….”
“So, boys and girls,” Mr. Lindsay concluded, “that random act of kindness by sending candy to our soldiers may have saved some of their lives. You should be very proud of what you do everyday, even if it doesn’t seem like a huge thing. A lot of times the unintended consequences help tremendously!”
A slide show, compiled by some parents, showcased each of the students in a brief but wonderful stroll down memory lane, while musical performances included “Rockin’ Cherry,” lyrics paraphrased for Cherry by Lincoln’s music teacher Mrs. Cirrillo, entertained. Cherry Music teacher, Mrs Kristin Woerner, directed the students in a beautiful performance of “For Just a Little While,” with the spectacular accompaniment by Fifth-grade student Jimmy Cummings on the keyboard.
In his traditional Farewell comments, Dr. Stimmel enlisted the assistance of select Fifth graders to hold specific props from previous years: a lantern, megaphone, a telescope and microscope, a Meet-the Robinsons Poster, and a clock, that each symbolized a life lesson. This year he added a simple string to symbolize the tying of things together, “Today, I am trying to tie some of the important lessons which your parents, your teachers, and I have tried to teach you over the last six years.” Using the string also as a memory aid, Dr. Stimmel encouraged the students “ to try and always remember to let your light shine, let your voice be heard, hunger and thirst for knowledge, keep moving forward, and remember there is a time and a season for all things.” Dr. Stimmel advised parents that as the students grow their might sometimes need help remembering these things, but he added that the string should also remind the students that their parents, Cherry Avenue teachers and staff are very proud of all they have accomplished.
Dr. Stimmel’s closing words of God bless and congratulations to the Moving- Up class of 2011 at Cherry Avenue were lost in the thunderous applause!
Presidential Academic Fitness Awards - Gold
Presidential Academic Achievement Awards - Silver
Cherry Avenue list of physical fitness winners
Physical Fitness Awards 2010- 2011 5th grade
National Award Presidential Awards
Brigid Lipari Michelle Eremita
Emily Aracri Michael Lofaro
Thomas Witt Amy Fullam
Andrew Braverman Devin Dolan
Kate Donohue Devin Haber
Meghan Hart Jack Luceri
Meghan Kelly Ryan Hendrickson
Madison Villany - Jen
Suffolk Zone Award winners
Chloe Argenziano and Ryan Hendrickson