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home : education : schools December 17, 2014

6/18/2013 1:10:00 PM
Eighth-grade promotion flashes toward the future
Sisters eighth-graders capped their promotion ceremony with a “flash mob” dance. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Sisters eighth-graders capped their promotion ceremony with a “flash mob” dance. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Charlie Kanzig

It's not every day you see a flash mob in Sisters, but those attending the Sisters Middle School promotion ceremony on Wednesday, June 12 experienced that and more as 104 eighth-graders celebrated with one final hurrah together before family, friends, and faculty in the one-hour event.

Following a heartfelt rendition of the national anthem by eighth-grader Emma Houck, outgoing Principal Mark Stewart, who will take over as director of the elementary school for the 2013-14 school year, proffered his words of wisdom for the students to consider and remember the foundations of a satisfying life built on "bricks" including kindness and important relationships.

Speeches from student body presidents Hayden Parson and Madison Rybka extolled their classmates to continue to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them in Sisters throughout the upcoming four years at Sisters High School.

Eighth-grade choir and band members performed for the crowd, under the direction of Rick Johnson and Lia Morgan, and then the entire class honored loved ones with a sprig of lavender as a symbol of thanks to them.

Each student then received a certificate of promotion, including 23 students who also received the Presidential Academic Fitness Award for having a 3.5 grade point average or above along with exceeding scores as eighth-graders on the state math and reading assessments.

As Mark Stewart presented the class of 2017, music unexpectedly began and eighth-grader Artem Biggers stood up from the front row and did a gymnastics stunt; teacher Mike Geisen flopped on the floor and performed the worm, and suddenly a "flash mob" was underway. The elated eighth-graders danced to a medley of tunes ending with "Don't Stop Believin'."

The flash mob idea came from a parent who thought it would be a great way to have one final group experience as middle-schoolers and to surprise the crowd in a fun and entertaining way, according to Stewart.

"I thought it was a great way to end on a high note and the kids seemed to enjoy it," he said. "I think this group will do well as they move on toward high school."

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