SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Students at a Springfield middle school celebrated a big step in their lives, the transition to high school.

Chestnut educators honored their 8th graders with an appropriately named “step-up ceremony.” Each student is honored for their work with a special thank you for the way they met their education goal despite the complexities of remote and hybrid learning.

“It’s been a very difficult year,” said Maria Melendez. “Not just for them, but for all the students across the nation, but they did a great job transiting from and it was wonderful.”

These students entering high school in the fall can look back with pride at the way each of them coped with the challenges they faced during this unconventional school year that tested them all.

“I was definitely a bit nervous but it was cool, it was for middle school, it was obviously great,” said Daviel Roman.

A well-deserved send-off from their Chestnut middle school educators and a salute to students everywhere who overcame the obstacles in the past year as they move on to the next step in their educational adventure.