Watsessing 6th-graders ready for middle school

Photos by Daniel Jackovino
Sixth-graders proceed to their promotion ceremony past applauding parents and staff in the traditional ‘clap out.’

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Watsessing Elementary School celebrated its class day on Friday, June 16, when the school’s sixth-graders, with middle school looming, ended their elementary school days. Witnessing the transition were applauding parents and teachers who lined the first-floor hallway as 44 students proceeded to the multipurpose room for awards and diplomas during the traditional “clap-out.”

The day was especially noteworthy because the school principal, Gina Rosamilia, is retiring this month after 43 years as an educator, 40 of which were in the Bloomfield School District.
She gave the welcoming address for the event, saying it was a most rewarding year for students and teachers. She then spoke words of encouragement.

“Sixth-graders, you are about to take on one of the most challenging educational transitions of your life,” Rosamilia said. “Your teachers and I know you have all the potential to succeed. After all, we presented many challenges to you here at Watsessing and you were able to handle them. Middle school should be no different.”

She thanked family and friends for their support and told them to remember with pride the accomplishments of their child. She asked these people to stand. They did and were applauded.
“You have all contributed to their success,” she said.

She thanked the teachers for their dedication, expertise, talent and energy which provided the sixth-graders with memories to last a lifetime. Although the event was largely confined to sixth-graders, their parents and teachers, Rosamilia thanked the lower grade teachers for providing a solid academic foundation.

“So, to this sixth grade class, I congratulate each one of you for completing your educational experience at Watsessing School,” she said. “Continue to put your best efforts forward and work to attain the knowledge and skills that enable you to create your future.”

Josh Fiedler, the president of the Watsessing Home and School Association, spoke and told the students they should be honored for being the last “graduating” class for their principal. The sixth-graders sang their class song, “I’ll Be There For You,” by the Rembrandts. Achievement awards were then presented.

Physical education awards were two-tiered and presented by Chris Romano. At the “national” level: Sophia Martinez, who was recognized as having done seven pull-ups; Bayoh Johnson; Ileana Rodriguez; Kenneth Vasquez; Bakari Letlow; Calvin Amos-Moore; Noah Dalley and Malaki Harris. At the “presidential” level: Dashaun Miles, who was recognized for having done 10 pull-ups; Matthew Mohan; Rico Orr; Lilian Alargha; London LaRue; Julian Piombo; Adam Rutty; Caitlyn Sy; Naji Jackson and Cordae Shugart.

Honors Award, presented by Joseph Milano, went to students earning 80% or higher in all 2022-23 major subjects: Caitlyn Sy; Sophia Martinez; Joseph Arias; Matthew Mohan; Emma Maldonado; Savannah Wadge, Bayoh Johnson and Ileana Rodriguez.

Outstanding Award, presented by Kelley Krick, went to students earning 90% or higher in all 2022-23 major subjects: Gracis DosSantos; Levi Mendez; Dashaun Miles and Kade Ponte.
Athletic/Academic Award, presented by Athena Giordano, were for excellence in athletics and academics: Savanna Wadge; London LaRue and Dashaun Miles.

Student of the Year Awards, presented by Athena Giordano, went to students most improved over the school year: Lilian Alargha; Asher Barkley; Nyla Hill and Jaivies Joubert.

The Academically Talented Award, presented by Lisa Fisbeck, was given to two students: Gracie DosSantos and Kade Ponte.

The presentation of diplomas followed. After singing, “Hold Onto the Memories,” by Corey Tynan, the sixth-graders and families departed the multipurpose room for the front lawn, photographs, summer and middle school.