Congratulations Class of 2020!


Source: Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

Congratulations to the eighth graders promoting from McAuliffe Middle School!

Dana Kim, Editor-in-Chief and Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: The following speech will be given at McAuliffe’s 2020 Promotion ceremony. 

Good evening esteemed members of the Los Alamitos Board of Education, administration and staff of McAuliffe Middle School, parents, guests, and fellow classmates. Tonight, I would like to congratulate the Class of 2020 and thank everyone who allowed us to stand here today. Even during this unprecedented time, we have been able to thrive because of people who were supporting us. 

We all know the world we live in is not perfect. There are many things that are unjust, cruel, wrong, and in need of change. Because of our young age, many students may think, “I am so small next to this big world. How can I make any difference?” Especially during these last few months, when our community has faced one of it’s biggest challenges yet. But, the truth is, we can. We are strong. We are capable. We do not have to be limited by our age. Together, we can make a difference. Many of my classmates, including myself, were able to achieve this mindset due to the experience, encouragement, knowledge, hope, and love we received at McAuliffe. To truly understand our development of character and individuality, we need to start back at the beginning of our middle school journey.

In the beginning, we were all new, whether we started as a Tiger, Whale, Husky, Leopard, Sea Lion, Knight, or from outside the district. From learning how to open a lock, to racing towards class, to learning what Step-It-Up was. Sixth grade was a year when my fellow classmates and I learned many new skills like time management and maintaining friendships. 

The next thing we knew, we were all back at McAuliffe as seventh graders. We were no longer timid, shy, and scrawny 11 and 12 year olds. A new school year meant more responsibilities, but also more fun. From being able to take electives to eating lunch with scary eighth graders, we were slowly but surely, growing. We didn’t realize it then, and we may still not realize it now, but we are maturing and being shaped into who we will become as adults. As the middle of the pack, we worked hard and enjoyed every moment. 

Finally, it was the year we were waiting for. Eighth grade. It meant we were the oldest on campus. It meant promotion and awards night. It meant gaining valuable lessons, many of which we will keep in our hearts. One important message that was instilled in us is that “We are all capable of changing the world.” I used to be limited by the belief that I’ll only be impactful when I’m an adult. However, through my three years at McAuliffe, I realized that age isn’t a limit. I found motivation to volunteer and help others. This may seem insignificant or not worthy enough to change the world, but small acts like these are what ignites the start of something bigger. McAuliffe has taught us that we can help advance society even as children. After this night, we aren’t an Eagle by name, but we will always be an Eagle at heart. Thank you to everyone who believed in us and helped us to understand that change begins with us. As we continue our journey as Griffins, we will never forget the memories we made here at McAuliffe Middle School. I would like to leave you with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. He once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Thank you.