A student led- and student-centered celebration took place at Bourne Middle School on June 19.
Eighth graders celebrated a rite of passage into their high school years and for some it is their last year studying within the Bourne school district. A total of 58 percent of the 193 students in the 8th grade class will move across the parking lot to Bourne High School but 42 percent have chosen to attend high school elsewhere.
Eighth graders, across the Cape, have more choices than ever for their high school experience. In Bourne, 81 members of the 8th grade class will exercise their right to choose a different experience when 53 attend Upper Cape Regional Technical School, 21 attend Sturgis Charter Public School and four attend Pope John Paul II, in the fall.
The reality of more schools to choose from makes this 8th-grade celebration bittersweet for the principal of Bourne Middle School, Melissa L. Stafford.
“When the students come together for the first time in the 5th grade we tell them that this is the first time they have come together as a graduating class,” she said. “When they break that tie at the end of the 8th grade it is emotional for us. Regardless, we want what is best for each student, and their family, so we support them in order to get them to where they want to go. In the end we hope that we have made Bourne their home and they still consider Bourne their community.”
Six students got together two days before the celebration to talk about their time at the middle school and about their future and where that might be.
Courtney L. Denesha, Melissa H. Griffin and Kyle C. Fortune are staying in the Bourne school system and going to the high school. Garrett W. Glinski and Nolan K. Eldridge will attend Upper Cape Regional Technical School and Colleen M. Gordon will attend Sturgis Charter Public School.
All six students admitted that the 5th and 8th grades were the best years at the middle school and that each of them started thinking about where to go to high school in the 7th grade.
Garrett, Nolan and Colleen had specific reasons for not choosing Bourne High School.
“I am energetic and it is tough to keep me in a seat for more than five minutes, so I thought that Upper Cape Tech would help me channel my energy,” Nolan said. Nolan wants to try information technology, engineering, environmental technology, carpentry and marine engineering before he decides which shop to choose for his technical diploma.
Garrett knows that he is interested in either the general electrical shop or electrical engineering and wants to go to MIT after earning his technical diploma.
Colleen thought Sturgis would be the best place for her because it offers Latin and she has an interest in traveling and languages.
The draw to stay in Bourne schools for Courtney, Melissa and Kyle were the sports, music and drama programs. Melissa plays the flute and piccolo and also participated in drama at the middle school. She is looking forward to meeting the high school band teacher and drama coach.
Kyle is interested in playing on the soccer, lacrosse and basketball teams.
Courtney is also interested in sports but has an additional interest in student government and wants to be a part of the school council and encourage school spirit for her graduating class.
The recognition and awards ceremony celebrating all of the 8th-grade students took place in the middle school’s gymnasium. The chorus sang, the band played and the evening was led by students in good standing with the Bourne Leadership Academic Service Team, or BLAST, group.
Students recognized by teachers for their all-around achievement while at the middle school were Emily R. Walton, Bryce T. Oliva, Connor I. Pike and Patrick L. Snyder.
After student awards were announced, many pictures were taken in the newly refurbished school courtyard, which principal Stafford recently referred to as the soul of the school. The celebration ended with a cookout.
Each student expects a lot more homework in 9th grade, regardless of where they are going and had plenty of thank-you sentiments for their parents and teachers.
“Thank you for putting in so much of your own time before and after school, and all of the extras you supplied,” Kyle said. “You guys have been the best teachers and I am going to miss all of you,” Colleen said.
“Bourne Middle School has been fun. The teachers were nice and there were a lot of activities to get involved in. I feel like I have had a taste of what high school is going to be like. I am going to focus on my studies, do my best and not stress out too much about any of it,” Courtney said.