Helen Keller Middle School recently held its Closing Ceremony for the eighth-grade class of 2022 near the pond outside the school.

“This is the first eighth-grade class that has been affected by the Coronavirus every single year from the end of sixth grade to the beginning of this year,” said Brian Walsh, eighth-grade leader and teacher. “They’re a special group because they’ve really been tested and have gone through challenges that other classes have not and have become close in times when they were isolated.”

Assistant Principal Annie Mohr addresses the graduates as Principal Dr. Steven Clapp and Assistant Superintendent Stephanie Pierson Ugol look on.

The ceremony, which took place on June 17 at 6 p.m., consisted of a welcome by graduate Maansi Tibrewal, an opening by Principal Dr. Steven Clapp, remarks from Board of Education members, a speech by student speaker Olivia Taylor, special awards presented by Walsh, certificates from assistant Principal Annie Mohr and Clapp, and musical performances by the HKMS Sax Quartet and graduates Ezra Nemore and Avery Young.

Family and friends gathered to salute the HKMS 2022 graduates.

“My favorite part was seeing the whole speech and seeing all the rewards of my classmates,” said graduate Chloe Suarez. Students, faculty, and parents said they enjoyed the ceremony, as the graduates looked forward to what was to come in high school.

“I was really excited but also nervous because you’re like the top of the class in eighth grade and then you’re moving to the bottom as a freshman in high school, but I think it’s exciting overall,” said graduate Christopher Gagliardi. “I’m looking forward to joining the tennis team at Joel Barlow High School. That will be exciting for me.”

Photos and slideshow by Sophie Camizzi.

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