First 8th grade bridging ceremony in South Amherst


By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com



Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times South Amherst Middle School principal Cara Gomez says an emotional goodbye to her first class.


Sam Walcott urges classmates to consider each other teammates.


Sam Formholz speaks to the new level of maturity eighth-graders will be held to in the fall.


Kaleb Carver walks forward to be recognized for completing the middle school grades in South Amherst.


Rylee Phillips grins as she bridges over.


Principal Cara Gomez started crying Thursday as she said goodbye to her South Amherst Middle School students.

“The next chapter in your child’s life will fly by and in a blink you’ll be (going to) high school graduation,” she told parents who assembled for the school’s first-ever eighth grade bridging ceremony.

Gomez has just ended her first year leading SAMS but said it’s felt much longer and she feels a great attachment to the Firelands High School Class of 2020.

Together they’ve enjoyed athletic success, traveled to Philadelphia to study American history and visit the Flight 93 memorial, and even rolled up their sleeves May 27 to spruce up Evergreen Cemetery in South Amherst as a community service project.

That last effort earned a commendation at the bridging ceremony from village mayor Dave Leshinski.

Recent Firelands High graduates David Vaughn and Emily Novak told eighth-graders to take the opportunities life offers and never be afraid to ask for help.

Bridging students Sam Walcott and Sam Formholz also stepped to the lectern.

“Today is a day to come together as teammates and remember all the good times you had,” Walcott said.

Advancing from middle to high school offers a kind of clean slate, said Formholz: “Our future is what we make it. We are now entering adulthood and will be able to make our own decisions.”

One hundred thirty SAMS eighth-graders were recognized in the ceremony.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times South Amherst Middle School principal Cara Gomez says an emotional goodbye to her first class.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2016/06/web1_DSC_1791-1.jpg

Photos by Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times South Amherst Middle School principal Cara Gomez says an emotional goodbye to her first class.

Sam Walcott urges classmates to consider each other teammates.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2016/06/web1_DSC_1820-1.jpgSam Walcott urges classmates to consider each other teammates.

Sam Formholz speaks to the new level of maturity eighth-graders will be held to in the fall.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2016/06/web1_DSC_1825-1.jpgSam Formholz speaks to the new level of maturity eighth-graders will be held to in the fall.

Kaleb Carver walks forward to be recognized for completing the middle school grades in South Amherst.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2016/06/web1_DSC_1829-1.jpgKaleb Carver walks forward to be recognized for completing the middle school grades in South Amherst.

Rylee Phillips grins as she bridges over.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2016/06/web1_DSC_1837-1.jpgRylee Phillips grins as she bridges over.

By Jason Hawk

jhawk@civitasmedia.com