Malibu Middle School students promoted to next chapter: High school

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On Wednesday, June 12, 76 students were honored for completing their time at Malibu Middle School, before being promoted to Malibu High School. Photos by Samantha Bravo/TMT

76 students received full house audience to celebrate their achievements

“Through it all, I’ve been able to count on the leadership and the presence of our eighth-graders,” Malibu Middle School Principal Greg Schellenberg said during the eighth-grade promotion on Wednesday, June 12. 

“Joining Malibu Middle School has been a delight; I am grateful and appreciative for this year,” Schellenberg said. “I remember sitting down with eighth-graders for the first time in early fall. School year does go by fast, but I’ve enjoyed knowing each of you this year. I am proud your efforts in all areas, the talent and commitment from this group is head spinning, whether it’s in class, on stage, or new to Malibu this spring on the sports fields and courts — through it all, I’ve been able to count on the leadership and the presence of our eighth-graders.” 

To start off the ceremony, Schellenberg and Middle School Counselor Lorene Whitehouse presented special awards to Malibu Middle School students.

“What students learn in high school will prepare students for adulthood, not only college,” Schellenberg said. 

The audience enjoyed performances by the eighth-grade orchestra, choir, theater arts, and band. 

Members of the City Council in attendance included Mariane Riggins and Paul Grisanti. Malibu Pathway Executive Director Isaac Burgees and Associate Dean of Santa Monica College’s Malibu Campus Alice Meyering were also in attendance. 

Whitehouse thanked the students, but also the parents, the staff, board members, and teachers of our community. “It truly takes a village,” she said.

“I can’t wait to see the great things that you all will do, not only right now, not only in high school but going far beyond,” Whitehouse said. “[All] 76 students earned their right to be here, and that’s 100 percent participation, and I want to give them a round of applause.”

Middle School speakers included Freyja Jacobson and Violet Keenan.

“We’ve been Malibu Middle School students for three years now, and our time here has been an incredible learning experience,” Keenan said. 

“From the first day of sixth grade, until we sit here on our promotion day, we have all grown so much, both emotionally and physically,” Jacobson said. “We students entered middle school as children and are promoting today feeling like full grown adults. It is stunning to see how our peers have changed then until now as we are becoming the people we will be for the rest of our lives.”

“Eighth grade was a year that teachers prepared their students for high school, and as the year progressed, we came to appreciate that next step,” Keenan said. 

Keenan and Jacobson said they were both intimidated and nervous about joining Malibu Middle School from elementary but said the school made their experience incredible. 

“The school was so welcoming and one we will never forget,” Keenan said.

After students received their certificates, families enjoyed a table full of refreshments and treats as well as photo booth opportunities.