Thursday evening Mexico Middle School held its eighth-grade promotion ceremony, graduating approximately 150 students to high school.
The ceremony, held in the Mexico High School Sports Complex, kicked off with the eighth-grade choir – directed by vocal music teacher Julie Dreier – singing "The Star-Spangled Banner." MMS Principal Deb Hill-Haag gave the welcome and introductions.
Promotion Etiquette was presented by eighth grade students Kronesha Belcher and Ethan Shy, and District Superintendent Kevin Freeman delivered a message to the students.
"They told me to keep it short," Freeman said jokingly to a cheerful crowd of proud parents, grandparents, family and friends. "We are here tonight to encourage you to be here in the next four years when you graduate high school. So when you get there, take advantage of high school. There are numerous activities, sports, clubs to prepare you to go on to college, or for whatever you choose to do after high school."
"I look forward to seeing you here again in four years," Freeman added.
The speaker for the ceremony, Tony Robertson, is the father of Caleb Robertson, a member of Class of 2017. His advice to the students was to keep school and academics, their family, church and community near to their hearts.
Robertson reminded them that the Mexico community is "very supportive" in contributing money to assist MHS graduates in furthering their education after high school.
He also advised them not to stress too much about entering high school. "You'll have plenty of opportunities for stress later in life." Instead he told them to be "renaissance men and women," and "to be decent to one another."
Robertson's predictions for year 2017 are that: The St. Louis Cardinals will win another World Series; the University of Missouri Tigers will "finally" make the Final Four; you will find a $20 bill in your jacket pocket; and the "Class of 2017 will be proactive in educating themselves and achieving great things."
The Class of 2017 was presented to a cheering crowd by Principal Haag and MMS Assistant Principal Edward Costley before sending the students off for their end-of-school dance, sponsored by parents of the eighth grade students.