Welcoming everyone to the ceremony at Sunrise Drive, Principal Rose Castello first invited Middle School Principal Tom Murray to say a few words, then she began her address. “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Quoting her favorite baseball player, Jackie Robinson, Mrs. Castello added, “Good character has long been the hallmark at Sunrise Drive.”
She acknowledged that the students have continually made “an impact on others in their community, the state, the nation, and sometimes, the world,” and cited the following examples: the children raised $15,000 during their annual Jump Rope for Heart; the student safety patrols ensured the safe arrival and dismissal of the younger students; student council activities included food collections, planting a garden, running an antibullying campaign, mailing packages to our soldiers, and creating placemats as well as donating funds to the Sayville Soup Kitchen, to name but a few.
“Our goal at Sunrise Drive is to spread kindness one child at a time,” Mrs. Castello continued. Recalling what Martin Luther King Jr. once said (Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service), Mrs. Castello praised the Sunrise Drive students. “We are very proud of our students today who have demonstrated greatness. And we know they will continue to make a difference in the lives of others.”
As the ceremony continued, specific awards from local politicians, as well as for achieving academic and physical fitness excellence were announced (see photos below), and after, the classroom teachers called their students by name, one at a time, so each could stand and be recognized. The Moving Up ended with two entertaining musical performances; All About the Lockers and Count On Me by the students, directed by Mrs. Amy Baron.