BLOOMFIELD, NJ — The Bloomfield Middle School promoted 474 boys and girls on Wednesday, June 21, in ceremonies beginning 15 minutes apart in the gymnasium and the auditorium.
The difference between the settings is remarkable. But tying the commencements together were speakers who addressed both audiences with similar words.
The welcoming address was delivered by BMS Principal Alla Vayda-Manzo. She reminded the students that their parents remembered them in diapers.
“Now you’re being promoted and they do not know where the time went,” she said.
Their teachers, she said, remember them for the challenges they faced and the incredible excuses they sometimes had for not being prepared.
“But what is in your mind?” she asked the students.
Two years of middle school is only a tiny notch of time, she said, but an unforgettable time.
The principal said she hoped that each student discovered a true part of themselves at the middle school because self-discovery is the toughest job anyone faces.
“Thank you for helping us shape your journey to self-discovery,” she said.
Congratulatory remarks were delivered by Superintendent of School Sal Goncalves and Mayor Michael Venezia.
Goncalves, a former BMS principal, told the students they were marvelous and to never forget that.
Venezia told the students that life does not get easier and he quoted Irish playwright Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried, ever failed; no matter. Try again, fail again; fail better.”
The mayor, a product of Bloomfield schools, advised the students to enjoy the summer but not to forget the lessons they learned in middle school. “When you look back on these years 20 years from now,” he said, “I hope it is with a smile and the same Bengal pride I have.”
The transitional address was delivered by Sebastian Powell, an assistant principal at Bloomfield High School.
“So what happens now?” he said.
He told the parents and students that during the summer they would be receiving information from the high school informing them about the opportunities to join clubs and sports teams.
“We want every year to be better,” he said. “Take a selfie of yourself and with friends because you did it together.”
He told the students to be themselves in high school and to apply what they have learned.
“Look out into the audience,” he said. “That is your support system.”
That support system, he said, will only grow in high school. “The people in front of you got your back,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Success is not achieved alone. Have a good summer, and let’s do it.”