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Eighth-Grade Banquet Honors Past and Present

Eighth+grader++Emma+Johnson+%28right%29+photographs+fellow+classmates+Caroline+Charles+and+Charles%27+parents+at+the+end+of+the+evening.
Eighth grader  Emma Johnson (right) photographs fellow classmates Caroline Charles and Charles' parents at the end of the evening.

Eighth grader Emma Johnson (right) photographs fellow classmates Caroline Charles and Charles' parents at the end of the evening.

Mr. Crisafi

Mr. Crisafi

Eighth grader Emma Johnson (right) photographs fellow classmates Caroline Charles and Charles' parents at the end of the evening.

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The Eighth-Grade Banquet is a momentous occasion that takes immense planning, practicing, and effort from all. On Tuesday May 10, the middle school gym was filled with all eighth grade students and their guests at 6:00 p.m. To start the event, Head of Middle School Mr. Charles Hagy welcomed everyone and, as he finished his remarks, the classic graduation staple, “Pomp and Circumstance,” filled each nook and cranny of the beautifully decorated gym.

Eighth grader Alex Goetschius addresses those in attendance.

Mr. Crisafi
Eighth grader Alex Goetschius addresses those in attendance.

As this song continued, each eighth grader (with boys and girls coupled – and even tripled – together) made the significant step through the white, floral-decorated trellis. When all students were seated with their family at their assigned table, the Middle School Chorus stood and sang “The Benjamin School Alma Mater.” With this prominent song written by Mr. Mark Poncy coming to a close, Mr. Hagy returned to the podium to introduce the first speaker of the night, eighth grader Caroline Moody, who read the invocation, written by Dr. Lawrence James. After this heartwarming prayer-like speech, eighth-grade twins Katie and Jack Abrams read an original speech in memoriam of Mrs. Nancy Benjamin, co-founder of The Benjamin School who passed away this past November. Fellow eighth grader Mitch Faloona then played one of Mrs. B’s favorite songs on his euphonium, Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as a slideshow of Mrs. B played on the screen.

Student Council President Nicolas Lama took to the podium to recall the events of the past year, chronicle the duties of a leader, and give advice to his classmates for the years ahead.
Each and every speaker at the banquet spoke eloquently and with pride for their school, which was an undeniable pleasure for all. However, following

Sophie Rabiei talks about her journey through middle school.

Mr. Crisafi
Sophie Rabiei talks about her journey through middle school.

the student council review came perhaps many of the students’ favorite part – dinner and video memories from the Class of 2020 (compiled by middle school technologist Mr. Matt Morrow)! “My favorite part of the banquet was dinner time,” said eighth grader Dazzy Capre. “It was my favorite part because everyone got to watch each other’s pictures throughout the years on the screen. Also, [it was my favorite] because everyone got to mingle and meet parents and hang with friends,” she said.

Shortly after, four eighth-grade students and a junior from the Benjamin Upper School gathered at the podium to give a few remarks. Eighth graders Leslie Berg, Sophie Rabiei, Alex Goetschius, and Tati Ziff recalled lost football seasons, likened life to being a pebble, and lamented growing up fast and learning to do laundry, while eleventh grader Christian Cropp advised the rising ninth graders on his keys to success in high school.

The guests in the gym listen to eighth grader Tatiana Ziff reminisce about her experiences at TBS.

Mr. Crisafi
The guests in the gym listen to eighth grader Tatiana Ziff reminisce about her experiences at TBS.

“For my [upcoming] year as a freshmen, I am most excited for the freedom that we are going to have,” said Capre. “More time in-between classes to hang with friends and eat food. More freedom comes with much responsibility ,but I feel we can handle it.”

To close this elegant ceremony, Head of School Mr. Robert Goldberg concluded by telling parents a humorous story about his adult son who travels the world as a documentarian. It was a tongue-in-cheek warning to parents about what they can look forward to in this ever-increasing technological world: single-word text responses from their soon-to-be-adult children which contrast sharply with a parent’s effusive and emotional attempts at communication.

The end of the banquet was not only the physical end, but it also symbolized change and the end of these eighth graders’ time at the Benjamin Middle School and the original campus. “I will miss the teachers and my friends who are leaving,” commented Sophie Rabiei. Nevertheless, despite the sad feelings, change can be intriguing and enjoyable. “I am excited to start a new chapter of my life in high school,”said eighth grader Blake Prolow. Without further ado, and with a warm feeling in all of their hearts, the students left the middle school, and began preparing for the life of a high schooler that lays ahead.

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Eighth-Grade Banquet Honors Past and Present