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Movin’ On Up

On Thursday, CSN eighth graders took the next step on their way to US when they climbed up on the stage of the MAC to receive their diplomas.

The MS Commencement was celebrated in front of families, teachers, and administrators who filled the seats behind the students.  Dr. Watson welcomed the guests and addressed the children directly, saying in part, “You have all been fortunate enough to have developed a certain level of intelligence, creativity, curiosity, understanding and open-mindedness, partly because of your genetics and your upbringing at home (so remember to thank your parents for those), and partly through CSN’s fantastic teaching (for which you need to remember to thank your teachers).”

Mr. Toth then stepped to the podium to introduce the Academic Career Awards, saying “These students have made a positive and enduring mark on the MS community in math, science, history, English, world languages, performing and visual arts, as well as the areas of service and citizenship.”  The award winners, who demonstrated exceptional academic performance, passion for the subject, independent initiative and learning outside of class and above average classroom citizenship, were selected by the entire MS faculty.

Mr. Geyer presented the CSN Prize for Excellence in the Visual Arts to Ariel Wachs, describing her as “amazingly skilled and truly passionate about creating art.”  Dr. Beagle gave the MS Career English Award to William Gavin, who is “quick of wit and full of curiosity…an aficionado of words.”  Mr. Miles awarded Gabriel Miller the prize for History with these words: “[He has} shown a preponderance toward the study and interest in history, academic and community involvement, civic mindedness, and general empathy.”  Mr. Werab presented the Career Math Award to someone who earned “the highest overall score in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Math Olympiad competitions, a top ranking on the AMC8 and Florida Math League contests, and National Honor Roll on the Noetic Math spring 2022 contest…Mimi Goldberg.”  Mr. Heck gave the Outstanding Student in the Performing Arts award to Emerson Greenwald, “a truly gifted young musician with lots of talent… [who] lives and breathes music, acting, performing, dancing and being on stage.”  Mrs. Doran awarded the Science Award to Darius Zafar, who “enjoys learning new ideas, and his energy and curiosity are contagious…participated in Science Olympiad…is an active member of Scuba Gang with over 100 dives…has a strong desire to explore his world, both above and below water.”  Mrs. Stevens presented this year’s World Languages Award to Lucie Norman, whose “determination and perseverance are essential qualities for future leaders.”

Mrs. Doran presented the Distinguished Scholar Award, “given to a student who has attended CSN MS for at least two years, is in the top 10% of the grade, has a passion for learning, is involved both in and out of the classroom, and demonstrates the CSN core values daily.”  Karina Hagenbuckle “not only received academic awards in all core classes and earned high honor roll, but challenges herself by taking an US class… During Club Awards, she was recognized for taking part in Model UN, Science Olympiad, Scuba Gang and Student Council… She was a three-season varsity athlete… She is well spoken, always has a kind word for her classmates, a positive attitude and a smile.”

Mrs. Potocki announced the Ben Briggs Award, given in honor of Mr. Briggs who was an active and long-serving member of the CSN community, including teaching English and history, and a founding member of the Board of Trustees.  Mimi Goldberg was selected, having earned straight 9s on her ERB tests, was a three-year Mathletics team member, a dedicated artist, an actor-singer, and secretary of the MS Student Council.  Mrs. Stevens then presented the Service Award to Brooke Glick, who participated in the Environmental Club, led recycling initiatives, was instrumental in planning both school-wide Earth Day celebrations, and was the first middle school student to attend the Everglades Coalition Conference.  “Brooke is someone who leads by example.” Mr. Toth gave Daniela Duque the Citizenship Award for being “a standout member of the CSN community, who over the entire time in MS acted in accordance with the honor code, treated others with respect, and was involved with various areas of student life… She makes CSN a better place by being here.”  All these recognitions were punctuated by student performances and speeches, both humorous and from the heart.

Mrs. Potocki ended by acknowledging all the MS teachers: “These are some amazing humans.  They are incredibly hardworking and dedicated professionals… I consider myself quite fortunate to share time and space with them… Please join me in giving our teachers a big round of applause.”  And join them in giving all the 8th graders a big round of applause as well!  Click here for photos.

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