Graduation an ‘important chapter’

The Campbell Middle School graduates are honored at the Earl C. McCrary II Eighth Grade End-of-the-Year Celebration Ceremony on Wednesday, May 29.

Campbell Middle School in Daytona Beach is a gem that sits in both the heart of Daytona’s historic Black community and its historic Midtown community.

On Wednesday morning, the school had 143 of its eighth-grade students celebrate the completion of middle school during its annual Earl C. McCrary II Eight Grade End-of-the-Year Celebration Ceremony in the school’s gymnasium, also the Earl C. McCrary II gymnasium. Campbell Middle is located at 625 Keech St. 

Throughout the event, the students were greeted with cheers and applauds in a packed house.

“Eighth-grade class, thank you for stepping up to the plate and doing your best to close out middle school,” expressed Kimberly Matthews, Campbell Middle principal.

Dr. Chester Wilson told the graduates

Dr. Chester Wilson told the graduates: “Let’s make a declaration to strive to be on the top because the bottom is already crowded.’’

‘Want to succeed’

Local educator and entrepreneur Dr. Chester Wilson was the keynote speaker.

“This is an important chapter in your lives and the start of a new adventure.

As you look ahead, there are new opportunities. Every day you have 24 hours in a day to do something special. You set out to achieve and to each the starts.

Let’s make a declaration to strive to be on the top because the bottom is already crowded,’’ commented Wilson.

Nobody is more excited about graduation than the students themselves. Most spent three years at Campbell striving for academic success. Ah’Shieria Wilson is headed to Mainland High School.

Wilson told the Daytona Times, “As for them having this ceremony for us, it is a good opportunity itself for us and our parents. We’re excited and want to succeed to be a part of it. It gives us more goals and something to look forward to, which our family can share with us.”

Andrew Bodiford was also excited. He will attend Spruce Creek High in the fall.

Bodiford echoed, “I feel good about the ceremony. I feel proud. It’s great that they have this for us to celebrate our achievements. Also, our parents and family can also share it with us here.”

Calleah Knight addresses fellow graduates at the ceremony.

Calleah Knight addresses fellow graduates at the ceremony.

A proud parent

Parents also enjoyed seeing their children in such an endeavor.

Quentin Avery came to see his daughter, Brittanya Avery, who will be going to Atlantic High School in the fall.

Avery noted, “It’s lovely. It’s great to represent the school and honor the kids for their success in the classroom. It gives the kids a moment to enjoy, have memories and be proud. Also, us parents and some family can also join in on it by being here.”

Campbell Middle School’s annual graduation ceremony is named after its late and former longtime principal. McCrary retired from the school district as the school’s principal in 1992. He led the school for more than 30 years. This was the 19th edition of the ceremony.

Dr. Lloyd Haynes,

Dr. Lloyd Haynes, the eighth grade assistant principal, speaks to the graduates.

High achievers

McCrary’s son, Earl C. McCrary III, served as the master of ceremony.

McCrary referenced a song by the late R&B icon Aaliyah titled “Dust Yourself and Try Again’’ to encourage the students to succeed.

This year’s group of graduates scored some high achievement marks.

The class had the highest math test scores of all grades at the school.

Thirty-five students had medallions representative of the Principal’s Award.

Eleven who graduated left middle school with two credits of high school math and 40 have Algebra I credits.

Campbell Middle School has a student population of 838 students.

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