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Eighth graders from Howard L. Goff Middle School took another step in their educational journeys on Thursday evening as they graduated from middle school and were introduced to Columbia High School at Elevation Celebration.

“Welcome to Columbia High School, your future home for the next four years,” said Goff Principal Wayne Grignon.

During his address to the students, Mr. Grignon shared sage advice and told them to rely on their training as they begin a new experience in high school.

“Trust that what you have learned at Goff and in your elementary schools will allow you to push yourself further and allow you to take risks you might never thought possible,” he said. “If you fail, get up and try again. You have to believe that you are prepared to take on life and all the wonders it has to offer. This is your time. Make it what you want it to be.”

Other speakers included Superintendent Jeff Simons, Goff Science Teacher Donnamarie Vlieg, Columbia Principal Michael Harkin and Goff 8th Grade Class President Ryan Seely.

“Next year, we will depend on our friends to adapt to a new setting,” Mr. Seely said. “Do not forget the memories we have made and who we made them with, for when you look back, this will be what you remember.”

The keynote address was given by Mrs. Vlieg, who challenged the graduates to be a positive impact on others in what sometimes feels like a scary world.

“You and I may not be able to change the whole world or some giant policy, but we can change our piece of the world,” Mrs. Vlieg said. “We can do that by practicing kindness and showing compassion to one another.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2022 and best of luck in high school!