A Pirate no longer… East Side fifth-graders graduate to middle school

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, May 20, 2021

It was a day that fifth-grade students were waiting for – they were receiving their promotion to middle school. However, for parents, it meant their child had reached another milestone in their educational ladder as they continue to click off the grades headed for graduation in a few short years.

On a beautiful evening for graduation, students were presented with awards they had earned during one of the most difficult years they have experienced in education having to deal with learning from home and attending school for only a few days a week for most of the 2020-2021 school year.

Recognizing top students in Physical Education, Art, Math, Science, and English as well as perfect attendance all five years and lastly the Josh Wandell Faith over Fear Award that was voted on by the faculty, teachers proudly said goodbye to another class who have called East Side Elementary home.

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A large crowd of family and friends gathered over the front lawn and cheered as their student was recognized.

“I don’t know if we will ever have another graduation in the gym,” said East Side Principal Travis Hurley. “It’s so good just to look out and see all of you out here after such a difficult year in so many ways.”

As the ceremony neared an end, a student could be heard saying, “Is this thing over?”.

And while the graduation did bring an end to their early learning period at East Side Elementary, it was just the beginning of another journey on their educational path as most will find themselves in the hallways of T.A. Dugger Junior High next year.

It will be a much different environment as now these students will not be the oldest ones in the hall but will once again find themselves as the youngest trying to establish their footing among new faces.

However, these students can be at rest knowing that their teachers at East Side have prepared them to face the new challenge boldly and without fear.

All photos are by Ivan Sanders.