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Milton Hershey School Celebrates Eighth Graders at Promotion Ceremony

Milton Hershey School Middle Division students celebrated their Breakthrough moments during the 2024 Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony on Friday, June 7. Parents/sponsors, teachers, administrators, and other supporters filled the Catherine Hall Auditorium to mark the special occasion.

Middle Division Principal Kara Schoessler kicked off the event by recognizing the importance of this milestone in the students’ lives.

Student speaker and eighth grader Jairus Appiah focused on the 2023-24 school year theme. He spoke about how hard work, teamwork, and perseverance are needed to achieve a Breakthrough.

“If we do not acknowledge how far we have come, we will not be able to recognize the behavior we need to continue to succeed even more,” he said.

Student Angela Santiago expressed gratitude to her teachers, houseparents, peers, and especially, Mr. and Mrs. Hershey.

“My gratitude to them is unexplainable both in regard to my life and others,” she said. “They’ve changed thousands of lives and helped a thousand more.”

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.

Joseph Kandakai and Angela Santiago were honored for their commitment to mission. Jairus Appiah and Mab Colyer were recognized for their integrity. Matthew Gilreath and Hermiley Chalfant were celebrated for their positive spirit. Trevor Mugure and Lillian Fritsch for showing mutual respect.

This year, a new award was introduced to recognize a student exemplifying incredible skill and vision in artistry. Baelin Gilliland received the Principal’s Art Award.

The school also recognized 16 students who enrolled in MHS in pre-K or kindergarten. At MHS, these students earn the distinction of being a “lifer” once they graduate.

Middle Division Home Life Director DJ Hedrick closed the 2024 Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony by congratulating the students as they move into the 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 students in preparation for their launch to high school.”

Learn More about Commencement Weekend at MHS

Watch the 2024 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.