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Milton Hershey School Honors Eighth Graders at Promotion Ceremony

Milton Hershey School Middle Division students celebrated their Day WON during the 2023 Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony on Friday, June 9. Parents/sponsors, teachers, administrators, and other supporters filled the school’s Catherine Hall Auditorium to mark the special occasion.

Middle Division Principal Tara Valoczki kicked off the event by noting she has enjoyed watching the students learn over the last several years.

“I watched them grow up and could not be more proud of them,” she said.

Speakers wove the 2022-23 MHS School Theme, Day 1 … Day WON, throughout the ceremony.

Student speaker and eighth grader Sofia Muwanguzi recalled being asked earlier this school year what Day WON means to her. Upon reflection, Sofia realized that a Day WON is a culmination of many decisions.

“It is months of figuring out who we are that turn into years of memories,” she said.

Sofia expressed appreciation to MHS teachers for pushing her to succeed. Before she enrolled at MHS this year, no one questioned how she planned to reach her highest potential. She credited the school for treating everyone as equals while recognizing their individual talents.

“They manage to advocate and push you to be your best self,” she said.

Student Christopher Smith said his Day WON was recognizing how to overcome life’s challenges.

“If life is anything, life is hard, but you can learn about life through different perspectives,” he said.

A student smiles during the Milton Hershey School 2023 Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony.

Smith acknowledged the importance of problem-solving and reminded his classmates that work ethic helps determine outcomes.

“The saying ‘life doesn’t get easier, but you learn how to handle it better’ is true,” he said.

Eight eighth-graders were recognized for their exceptional commitment to the MHS Sacred Values of commitment to mission, mutual respect, integrity, and positive spirit. Milton S. Hershey showcased these values during his life and expected the students who would enroll at his school would, too.

Maya Garcia and Kirk Johnson were honored for their commitment to mission. Lilly Gullace and Alexander Mason were recognized for their integrity. Yayey Dukuly and Antonio Cruz-Wright were celebrated for their positive spirit. Demetrio Delmonico and Angelina Momoh were commended for showing mutual respect.

The school also recognized 14 students who enrolled in MHS in pre-K, kindergarten, or first grade. At MHS, these students earn the distinction of being a “lifer” once they complete their 12 years of schooling and graduate.

Middle Division Home Life Director DJ Hedrick closed the 2023 Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony by telling the students he was confident they will succeed in the school’s Senior Division.

“It has been a pleasure being part of your Home Life journey in Middle Division!” Hedrick said. “Parents, sponsors, teachers, houseparents and support staff, thank you for all you have done, to guide, mentor, and support these students in preparation for their launch to high school.”

Learn about Commencement Weekend at MHS

Watch the 2023 Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony

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Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.