Above: Isbell Middle School Class of 2014 Below:Students from the Class of 2014 at Isbell Middle School receive their promotion certificates during Wednesday’s promotion ceremony

Isbell Middle School promotes 366

June 13, 2014
Santa Paula News

In an outdoor ceremony, packed with family and friends, Isbell Middle School promoted 366 students from 8th grade to high school Wednesday.

After welcoming remarks and music from the Isbell band and chorus, Principal George Alessi introduced the student speakers. First was Bodde Stewart, this year’s winner of the Doug Stewart Award.

Stewart said, “Our class has created great memories at Isbell as we participated in our classes and in activities such as band, MESA, ASB, Cancer Crushers, Yearbook, wrestling and basketball. In 6th grade we were all new to this school but I believe that this class has matured.” He added that as they grew together, laughed together and worked together he believes this class has had a new approach to school. “We have started to work harder to make grades, we are more devoted to this school than we were in 6th grade, and we have pushed harder than we have before. I believe this class will be as good or better in high school. And I know that this class, our class, will achieve greater things in high school and beyond!”

Stewart said one memory that stood out for him was the Relay for Life and the Cancer Crushers this year. “The whole school made a huge accomplishment this year by working together to raise over 20,000 dollars for research to help cure cancer.  I think that that moment brought us all closer, as a school, as a class, and as friends.”

He told his classmates that being promoted was a proud moment but not the end. He said this is just the beginning of a new journey. “Isbell was just a hard test that we had to get through together, which gives us the right to sit here today. But this is not the last test we will take, no! We just move on to part two, high school.  But I promise if we work as hard as we did this year for the next 4 years, than we can all make it. I have faith that in 4 years we will all be sitting again as we are today, as a family.”

Stewart said that they would remember the great times they had together. “We will remember the Isbell class of 2014, and we will remember the best middle school in Ventura County, and how it was a magic kingdom. We will remember the amazing teachers who pushed us to the breaking point to get our work done, and how we did not roll over and die, but instead we stepped up to the challenge and succeeded. We owe a higher thank you to the Isbell staff, they are the ones who have let us make it this far. So today a new journey starts as an old one ends.”

Co-Valedictorian Isabel Mondragon said, “It’s going to be hard to leave middle school behind and move on to high school, but we all have lots of memories of our time here.” She added that it is true that middle school is over, but, she said, “We still have many more years ahead of us. We have high school, then college, and after that we get to choose a career. We have the chance to live our dreams of becoming astronauts, firefighters, teachers, and doctors. Or we could live our dreams of becoming famous and traveling the world. However, to make our dreams come true, we have to set goals for ourselves, and to accomplish those goals we will have to work long and hard. It might not be easy but it will all be worth it in the end. We are all capable of doing great things and with determination and hard work we can do more than accomplish our dreams.” Mondragon also thanked parents and the Isbell staff for their support.

Co-Valedictorian Lauren Alamillo said they all have changed one way or another during their  time in Isbell. “In sixth grade, we went from being the oldest kids in elementary school to being the youngest kids at Isbell,” she added. “We were all excited and some, a little nervous, to be moving on to something bigger. We had all of our classes on the bottom floor, and some of us were curious enough to travel upstairs just to find out that the top floor was almost exactly the same as the bottom, except that it took a little more energy to get there. We met new people and made new friends. In seventh grade, we were no longer referred to as the “annoying little six graders. We had moved on from playing tag during nutrition and lunch. Then in eighth grade, we were once again the oldest kids in the school. We were all got a little annoyed at least once when our teachers made the “How Much Harder High School Would Be” speech, even though they were just warning us about what is probably true.”

She encouraged her classmates to set goals for themselves in the future and to try new things. “Whether it’s trying out for a sport you’ve never played before or joining a club even though your friends don’t want to. You will find out what you are interested in during high school, and you will learn more about yourselves. You will meet new people, and your friends might change, even though you swear that they won’t,” she said. 

Isbell Principal George Alessi closed the ceremony, saying, “Three weeks ago, my daughter graduated from Cal State Northridge. At the end of the ceremony, the Dean of Students asked all students to stand, and then said something I want you all to hear, she said...’From this day forward, you will be recognized as highly educated men and women.’ We don’t tell you that at Promotion, you are still on your journey, you will not hear that at High School graduation, you are still on your journey. You will all hear that at College graduation and you are all going to graduate from college. ‘Highly educated men and women.’ That is your goal. And with that, you will bring honor to you and your families.”

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