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Moving Up Day Celebrates the Class of 2031
Greg Waxberg

Pingry’s fifth-grade students were recognized for their achievements and began their transition to Middle School when the Lower School held its annual Moving Up Day on June 7.

Dr. Thu-Nga Morris, Assistant Head of School K–12 and Lower School Director, lauded the students for their hard work and dedication, and the faculty presented awards and commendations for participation in visual arts, performing arts, the Math Team, music, Student Council, and the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge.

In particular, Grades 4 and 5 Visual Arts Teacher Russell Christian proclaimed that “art is a form of serious play—sometimes, we play alone, and sometimes we play with others…Only you can decide how serious an artist you want to be.” He encouraged the students to keep drawing and painting throughout their lives.

Middle School Math Teacher Verna Lange, who coaches the Lower and Middle School Math Teams, spoke about the Lower School Math Team’s tremendous successes this year, including students’ participation in Math Kangaroo and the Mathematics Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS); MOEMS are five monthly tests with five problems each, taken each year by tens of thousands of students around the world. Once again, Pingry earned the “Highest Team Achievement” award. In addition, Pingry won the Math League State Championship for the third year in a row. Mrs. Lange also announced that students qualified for the Math League National Championship, taking place later in June.

Lower School P.E. Coordinator and Health Teacher Leslie Miller presented on the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge—five tests that measure cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and agility. Seven students won the Challenge’s award for scoring in the top 15 percent in the nation in all five categories.

Addressing the students, Head of School Tim Lear said he is looking forward to welcoming them to the Basking Ridge Campus in the fall and, because the temptation to want to rush time to grow up can be strong, encouraged them to enjoy their younger years—growing up will come soon enough. He also wants them to know that the Lower School will always be their home.

Twenty-six students were recognized for attending Pingry since Kindergarten, and the ceremony included three annual honors that are named for former Lower School teachers and families:

Auchincloss Award (showing the most concern for others)—Oswin Kwakye, Matthew Menichillo, and Mateo Vicente

Evelyn M. Chester Achievement Prize (amount and quality of sustained effort dedicated to both academic pursuits and personal growth)—Ayden Chang, Elizabeth Eng, Molly Kasanof, and Hannah Wu

Joann M. Jackson Citizenship Award (exemplifying the Honor Code through actions)—Sofia Miluzzo and Emme Ulman

Contact: Greg Waxberg ’96, Communications Writer, Editor of The Pingry Review