(This welcoming speech was delivered by Jarred Schwartz, student council president, to elementary students moving up to middle school.)
I am here as ambassador of the middle school to introduce you to your new learning environment. For over 25 years, the philosophy of this school has affected hundreds of graduates. I am standing here with great pride, knowing that a few more will join the hundreds in this school’s beautiful attempt at making the world One.
Though the philosophy remains the same, your life as a middle schooler will be quite different, filled with friends and teachers who will become like your second family as the middle school building becomes your new home. Like a home, everyone has a part and everyone contributes to the house of Progressive. However, in this house we call the Progressive middle school, there live bright, eager and young students… you! Although you may be young, you will grow older and smarter every day. That fact inspires a greater amount of time spent on a higher difficulty of work, whether it be in the Progressive house, or your own homes.
Even though there is more work, this work isn’t a punishment, rather it’s another challenge to prove to your new educators that you are ready for the responsibility. The middle school lifestyle gives me, Eric, and all the faculty members a great amount of pride, but never forget that modesty is the key to friendship and achievement. Never forget the philosophy that lives within you, even if you are not returning next year. Looking at all the graduates of the school’s past, the ones who succeeded in life are only those who have learned the true meaning of Baba Nam Kevalam.
So go on to the middle school as I did two years ago, with ambition and a drive to achieve, for not only the betterment of yourself, but the betterment of this community, this family we call the Progressive School of Long Island. Your abilities will create a new standard for the students yet to come. As you enter the middle school in September, remember that you are entering a peaceful world, a “Tiny Green Island” if you will. This island is the island of hope and love for all things, and I am here to say, “Welcome to the Progressive middle school.”