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It is hard to really explain the phenomenon called "Move Up Day." All I know is that I walked into Harwood Middle School, and there was Lisa Atwood, principal of the middle school, standing at a table with umpteen name labels upon it. Outside a school bus pulled up and out came next year's seventh-grade students, who were about to get their first glimpse of what was to be their middle school and high school for the next six years.
Now I don't know if any of you have witnessed the excitement of an opening day, but it's a cacophony of hugs, hand slapping, smiles and utter bewilderment. These kids, who came from Crossett Brook, Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield, and Warren Elementary Schools where they are now seniors and "Big Shots on Campus," will now start all over again at the "bottom rung of the ladder." They stopped at the table where Ms Atwood greeted them warmly, helped them find their name tags and guided them to the gathering spot for their grade. The loudspeaker blared out instructions for the various grades, "Seventh grade go to eighth grade, eighth to ninth," and all the way up the ladder. The senior Harwood students were practicing for their graduation.
Meanwhile, the incoming freshman class was being introduced to their new teachers and surroundings. Not only did the teachers greet them, but the principals of both the middle school and high school addressed them as well. Duane Pierson principal of the high school, made it known that his two children were now attending school in Moretown but in the near future would come to Harwood.
The speeches were not long but were filled with warmth and compassion for what the students would be facing in the future. "We know some of you are walking in here not knowing a soul, but you will meet new people, some of whom will be your friends for the rest of your life," they were told.
Each teacher then read off the names of the students who would be in their TA the following year and guided the kids into their new classroom to be. You could tell by the smiles on their faces that Sam Greshin, Jackson Krushenick and Sam Brodeur were glad to be in their new surroundings. The kids got to visit all their new classrooms and teachers, and the teachers got to meet their new students...the tradition continues.