Orion promotes 64 to High School

Mindy Carls
After the processional, some of the Orion Middle School eighth graders are seated at the band shell in Central Park, which hosted the eighth grade promotion ceremony on Monday, May 24.

Central Park’s historic band shell provided the dramatic background for Orion Middle School’s eighth grade promotion on Monday evening, May 24.

Sixty-four boys and girls were promoted to Orion High School, where they will be the Class of 2025.

The ceremony opened with the sixth and seventh grade band, directed by Lauren Heiberger, playing Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” for the processional. Accompanying the eighth graders were the marshalls, Abigail Kayser and Allison Taets, and ushers, William Bowers, Kamryn Brown, Margaret Dochterman and Autumn Hoftender. The marshalls and ushers were seventh graders chosen for their academic achievements.

Eighth graders were seated in facing rows on the basketball court in front of the band shell.

Dr. Laura Nelson, who was retiring as OMS principal, noted what a year of change the COVID-19 pandemic had brought, but the students had shown resilience while learning life is not easy. Hope had made them stronger, and they had discovered the value of friends, family and teachers. Promotion was the result of perseverance and hard work.

Ian Bollinger, president of Student Council, gave the welcome.

To his classmates, he said, “We have been through a lot this year and missed out on a lot. We have survived C.R. Hanna, OMS and COVID-19. We’ve gotten through it all together. There has never been a class more ready for OHS.”

“Middle school isn’t all sunshine and rainbows,” Bollinger said. “There are long nights of studying and exhausting practices in the rain, but the feeling of acing a test or winning a game is something that can’t be put into words.”

After the concert choir with eighth graders sang, “How Far I’ll Go,” from “Moana,” the band accompanied by train whistle played “The Avengers.

Two faculty members presented awards. Jaclyn Marta presented Citizenship Awards to a girl, Kloe Bronner, and a boy, Chase Hixson.

Beth Galliart, who was retiring at the end of the school year, presented academic awards to the top 10 percent of the class, based on averages through sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

Recipients were Bollinger, Nolan Buchen, Kennedy DeBaillie, Avery Marner, Jocelyn Marner, Lance Moore and Aubrey Sandberg.

Eighth grader Hailey Wilburn gave the farewell.

“In high school, we’re all gonna change again and again because we’re all maturing,” she said. “Everybody says we’re ready for high school and being an adult, but how ready are we? No matter what has happened of what is going to happen, every single one of us is strong and will succeed.”