Creswell, Education

In hot gym, warm words mark the day as CMS promotes ‘Class of 2023’

School board member Lacey Risdal hugs her daughter, Jordynn, as she presents her eighth-grade promotion certificate. Gini Davis/The Creswell Chronicle

Packed with their families and other well-wishers into the un-airconditioned gym of Creswell Middle School, the high school graduating class of 2023 endured the sweltering mid-90s heat of June 11 to mark their promotion from eighth graders to incoming Creswell High School freshmen.
As CMS Principal Shirley Burrus noted, it was a milestone worth celebrating, whatever the weather.
”This is an exciting time in our students’ lives; they’re leaving middle school and moving to high school – in a sense they’re leaving childhood behind and taking a step toward adulthood,” Burrus said.
CHS Freshman President-Elect Sierra Walter – who also put together the ever-popular slideshow of eighth graders’ current photos, side-by-side with their baby photos – issued a challenge to her classmates.
”I know all of us are probably a little nervous about starting high school, and when people get nervous, they tend to pick on each other’s insecurities,” Walter said. ”But my goal for us is to be a class that builds each other up and helps each other out instead of tearing each other down. Let’s make this next chapter of our lives a good one.”
CHS Associated Student Body President-Elect Jenessa Mallory encouraged the incoming freshmen to ”Get involved, get involved, get involved: get involved in sports, music, clubs – whatever interests you,” she said.
Mallory also advised being nice to everybody, keeping up with schoolwork, respecting teachers, attending games and concerts, and most of all, enjoying their high school experience.
”Get involved and have fun – because trust me, these years are going to go by really, really fast,” she said.
Before the students received their promotion certificates from Creswell School Board members, school counselor David Niess announced Academic Achievement award winners: students who had earned a cumulative middle school GPA of 3.5 to 3.74; and Creswell School District Superintendent Todd Hamilton announced the Academic Excellence awardees: students with a cumulative middle school GPA between 3.75 and 4.00.
Noelle Holst was honored as the class’ top reader, with 1,932,693 words – ”that we know of,” Burrus said – under her belt.
Jack Nguyen, Allyson Phillips and Caroline Spriggs were recognized for perfect attendance.
”We focus a lot on attendance and really encourage students to be here whenever they’re healthy,” Burrus said. ”There are lots of studies out there that say it’s going to be helpful to them later in life and at work.”
After each student had received their promotion certificate, family members read the letters their children had written for them.
”Letters are a precious gift in these days of email, texting and social media, and I hope many of you will keep these letters for years to come,” CMS language arts teacher Patrick Hartsfield told parents. ”This is a pivotal time of life for these kids, and these are letters of appreciation – a thank you, to you, for what you’ve done for their lives.”
”Congratulations, Class of 2023,” Burrus said, releasing the class to join their families for hugs, flowers, balloons and pictures, before attending their special parent-sponsored party. ”You’re leaving Tiger Country and going into Bulldog Country.”



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