Sanibel school celebrates graduating eighth-graders
Twenty-two students from The Sanibel School were recently recognized at the annual 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony as they prepare to enter high school and their next chapter in life.
Held on May 30 in the school’s cafetorium, the ceremony opened with National Junior Honor Society President Brayden Williams leading the graduates, faculty and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Next up, students Lilly Doster, Gabby McKinney and Camryn Peach performed the song “The Climb.”
Principal Chuck Vilardi delivered the welcoming.
He advised his exiting students to challenge themselves in the future, to be better and do better.
“I want to challenge each of you to be bold, to be courageous,” Vilardi said.
He talked about inner strength and changing one’s habits in order to change one’s future.
“What kind of story you write is up to you,” Vilardi said.
He concluded his speech and words of wisdom with his best wishes for the youths.
“I hope you soar,” Vilardi said.
Guest speaker Samuel Sullivan, founder of Level Up, shared his troubled childhood and obstacles he has faced in life and how he has persevered. He told the students that greatness lies within them.
“Do not let your circumstances determine who you are,” Sullivan said.
He advised them to “have the courage to travel into the unknown” and to chase their dreams.
“What you focus on will become your reality,” Sullivan said.
He instructed the youths to recognize and celebrate the abundant possibilities ahead.
Prior to the presentation of certificates, Assistant Principal Jamie Reid shared a few words with the audience. She recalled the annual trip to Washington, D.C., and school activities throughout the years.
“They’re a small tight-knit group,” Reid said of the graduates. “They’re kind of like a family.”
As each student’s name was called out to walk the stage, she read off his or her responses to three questions: fondest memory, high school attending and where they see themselves in 10 years.
After the students collected their certificates, a memory video was shown.
Vilardi provided the closing remarks for the ceremony, and the graduating youths were treated to a party at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club on Sanibel later in the evening.