(welcoming speech at sixth grade moving up ceremony by Regan Lutz)

First off I would like to congratulate the sixth grade graduates and welcome them to the middle school. I am Regan and I am graduating from the middle school next week.

Two years ago, I, like you was graduating from the sixth grade. I was sitting where you are now and I remember it being bittersweet. I was excited to be moving on to middle school but sad to be leaving the elementary school. I was leaving behind what I was familiar and comfortable with, a place where I had been very happy. I was about to start something new, full of so many unknowns. But I can assure you that Middle School will be great. The last two years have exceeded all my expectations. I doubt that there is any other middle school where you will learn so much, have such awesome teachers, and build such close friendships.

Middle school is its own separate building. In the two years in which I have been there we have built a community, and you will build one too. The community my class chose to make is similar to being a family. Like a family we may tease each other but we always respect each other’s boundaries. We are supportive of each other, and we laugh together a lot. Most importantly we are kind to each other. You will choose what community you want to make and it will set an example to the rest of the school.

When writing this speech I tried to think of advice that would make the change to middle school easier and the two years you will spend there even more enjoyable. My first piece of advice is to be organized. Being organized doesn’t come naturally to most people, it is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. You will be in four different classrooms with four different assignment boards. Each class will have their own due dates for homework and projects. If you are well-organized you will go far academically.

Next, take responsibility for your schoolwork. In Middle School you will depend more on your classmates as well as become more independent. You will be responsible for emailing teachers or asking your classmates for missed assignments. If you have questions, it’s is your job to find the answers. The middle school teachers have high yet fair expectations and want you to succeed.

I would like to close with a quote from Dr. Kassora, an internationally renowned psychologist, “It is not the size of the arena in which you find yourself that counts; it is what you do with it.”  Progressive might be a small arena, but it does not limit you in what you can accomplish. So make the most of the Progressive arena, and make it count.