Santa Paula Times

(Top photo) Isbell Middle School graduating Class of 2008. (Bottom photo) The Isbell Chorus sings a graduation song. (Photos by Brian D. Wilson)

Isbell Middle School promotes eighth graders

June 20, 2008
Santa Paula News
By Brian D. Wilson Santa Paula TimesIsbell Middle School parents, family and friends packed Jones Field at Santa Paula High School for the eighth grade promotion ceremonies last Thursday. After prelude music from the Isbell Jazz Band, under the direction of Juliette Resor, and a welcome from Principal Raul Betancourt and Superintendent Elizabeth DeVita, the Isbell Chorus performed “The Graduation Song.”Valedictorian Melissa Solis thanked teachers and parents for supporting them. “I think that middle school was a huge transition for most of us,” she said. “I know it was for me... we have finally made our transition from scared, cautious sixth graders to the top of the school as awesome eighth graders. These past three years have really made us all mature.”But, she told her classmates, “We all have to start this transition again. It will be this way for us throughout life.” She urged them to try their hardest in everything they do and strive to get good grades, and she told them to remember to let themselves laugh about something everyday.The Doug Stewart Award winner, Antonio Cisneros, congratulated his class for surviving three years at Isbell. “Surviving the three years of Isbell was very hard,” he said. “We knew that if we hung out with the wrong people they would give us bad influences. When we look back at our yearbook of the sixth and seventh grade, we realize that we have changed.”He said that, looking ahead, they realize the first year of high school won’t be that different from entering sixth grade. “It will be as if we are repeating sixth grade all over again,” Cisneros said. “We will feel excited, yet scared and nervous all at the same time. We won’t have to worry because we made it through sixth grade, so then what can stop us from making it through ninth.”
He thanked parents, teachers, friends and family for their loving help, and he added words of encouragement for his classmates. “There is nothing that can stop us from accomplishing more,” he said. “Don’t give up in whatever you do, and make sure to follow your dreams, because they won’t occur unless you try to make them happen.”The Elizabeth Ramsey Award winner was Sabrina Espino. Speaking of entering high school, she noted they were going to a new school with a lot more students and a lot more challenges. “We even felt the same way when we entered the sixth grade; excited and yet nervous about the upcoming year,” she added. “We will be able to succeed though, all we need is confidence by believing in ourselves.”She urged her classmates to take the knowledge that their teachers and parents have given them and use it to fulfill their dreams, and to go beyond where others have failed. “We shall be successful and do what we’ve always dreamed of doing,” she said. “We should be able to endure any problem that we face and achieve the goals that we have set our minds to.”