A Special Class Moves on From Park Avenue

A Special Class Moves on From Park Avenue photo

Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School Principal Robyn Santiago looked out from the stage at the 213 sixth graders sitting in front of her and smiled. She and the students shared a common bond, one that she will remember for the rest of her life.

“This class of sixth graders is very special to me,” she said, “as both they and I entered Park Avenue together three years ago.”

She became principal when they became fourth graders, moving up from Northwest Elementary School. Now, she is sending them off to seventh grade at Edmund W. Miles Middle School, which happened to be the setting for their moving up ceremony on June 25.

“I can’t wait to watch your future success,” Ms. Santiago told the students, boasting about their achievements in academics, art and music, while also highlighting their great character. “Stay kind,” she added.

Superintendent Dr. Mary T. Kelly told students that they had been well cared for over the last three years by Park Avenue teachers and staff who were dedicated to their success. Now, the staff at the middle school awaits them and will be ready to help the students follow their dreams. Dr. Kelly said new opportunities lie ahead such as learning a new language, receiving a Chromebook to use both in school and at home, joining clubs and conducting science research.  

“There is something here for everyone,” she said.

The sixth graders heard from National Junior Honor Society President Daniella Henriquez, who recalled making the same transition two years earlier and how quickly she felt comfortable in her new school. 

“Coming to the middle school is a new beginning and fresh start,” she said.

The Park Avenue chorus, led by Megan Ashe, performed “A Million Dreams” with sixth grade soloists Tiffany Asbell, Sydney Carter, Karina Escobar Rivera and Madelyne Martinez. Certificates were presented to students earning the Presidents’ Award for Academic Achievement and Educational Excellence. Ms. Santiago and Assistant Principal Melissa Wiederhold also recognized John Arango, who earned the New York State Comptroller Achievement Award, and Alessandra Pons who received the Suffolk County Executive Certificate of Achievement.