Jefferson Elementary School Fifth-Grade Graduation

Students, teachers, and families were buzzing with excitement June 10 as Jefferson Elementary School held its Fifth-Grade Graduation, which included 84 students from six classes. Students spoke throughout the ceremony in English, Spanish, and Italian. 

Students entered the auditorium holding red and white balloons and sang “Verge” by Owl City, featuring Aloe Blacc. Balloons were released into the air as smiles and tears of joy spread throughout the room, showing just how powerful the moment was for all. Speakers included Dr. Olivine Roberts, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Board of Education member Katie Castellano Minaya, and Principal Kimmerly Nieves (third photo). All shared inspiring messages with students and families.

Before students graduated, several retirees and staff members were recognized for their years of service. Retirees included Sloane Occhiuto, a classroom teacher for 35 years; Frayda Grossbach, a 34-year special education teacher, and Roslyn Claytor, Jefferson’s librarian. Mary Beth Kettner, Jefferson’s secretary for 16 years, and Head Custodian Jimmy Benge, will bid farewell to Jefferson as well. 

Yuderlin Santana, a fifth-grade student in Victoria Cooke’s class, said, “This past school year has been a wonderful experience. Even with the challenges of COVID, teachers and students worked hard to achieve their goals while having fun through the process.”