MOVING UP WITH SUNRISE DRIVE
Moving-Up ceremony at Sunrise Drive began as it has for many years, with the students singing Sunrise Drive You Are the One, composed and directed by Mrs. Baron. This time, however, after fourteen years as Sunrise Drive Principal, the retiring Rose Castello welcomed the students and guests for one last time. Mrs. Castello recalled, “they were “bright-eyed kindergarteners… [who] soon learned that Sunrise Drive was a safe, and often exciting, place to learn and grow. They have made many friends, grown physically and emotionally, and learned what they need to know to move on to Middle School.”
After Middle School Principal Tom Murray assured the students they would quickly adapt to the new building and changing classes, recognition was given to the Fifth-graders who achieved excellence in academics and physical fitness.
In prefacing additional student recognition, Mrs. Castello remarked, “Anyone who knows me, knows I love baseball. I was a young child when Jackie Robinson played for the NY Dodgers, his impact on not only the sport but the nation was tremendous. He was an amazing example of good character. He once said, ‘A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.’ Good character has long been a hallmark of students at Sunrise Drive.”
Mrs. Castello followed by extolling the good works accomplished by Sunrise Drive including: collecting food for Thanksgiving and LI Cares, creating anti-bullying posters for our hallways, mailing packages to our soldiers, visiting the Arbor Assisted Living facility and planting flowers in the courtyard, raising over $2,000 to help build two water wells in Liberia to provide clean drinking water for school children, as well as donating funds to a variety of charitable organizations.
“These students, your children, have made a difference! A difference here at Sunrise Drive, in Sayville, and to people they may never meet.... Our goal this year at Sunrise was to spread kindness one child at a time. As Aesop once said, ‘No kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.’ We are very proud of our students who have demonstrated such kindnesses and we know they will continue to make a difference in the lives of others.”
As the ceremony continued, specific awards from local politicians were given. This was followed by the classroom teachers calling their students by name, one at a time, so each could stand and be recognized. For musical entertainment, the students sang Hello, paraphrased for the occasion and Try Everything, directed by Music Teacher Amy Baron.
In closing, Mrs. Castello first thanked the parents for their support and then adressed her students, citing Michael Jordan, Hank Aaron, and the Beatles as examples of people who reached their goals, and urged the fifth-graders to “Never, Never, Never Give Up.” After acknowledging the team of teachers and staff for their significant contributions in providing an education of excellence at Sunrise Drive, Mrs. Castello wished her students well with, “Have a wonderful summer!”