South Orange Middle School (SOMS) and Maplewood Middle School (MMS) students graduated Wednesday morning, bidding farewell to their middle school years and looking toward a bright future as high school freshmen.
Superintendent Brian Osborne spoke at both ceremonies. Addressing the graduates’ parents at SOMS, he advised them to not let up on encouraging their children. “Stay close, make them do their homework, make them show up on time and be in their business,” said the super, who is leaving next week to head the school district of New Rochelle. “They need your love and your nagging to see them through.”
Osborne told the students there is “no other option than to be college ready. Do not give up. Do not let anyone down level you. Intellectual capacity is neither fixed or given.” He said that ‘smart’ is not something one ‘is,’ but rather is something one ‘gets’ by hard work.
SOMS Principal Jeffrey Uglialoro and MMS Principal Jeffrey Truppo both spoke to graduates. Guest speakers included Board of Education members Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad at SOMS and Johanna Wright at MMS.
“Enjoy this moment,” said SOMS student speaker Amanda Welch. “You’ve earned it.”