New Pine Hill Elementary School Holds its First ‘Moving on’ Ceremony


Photo courtesy of Westwood Public Schools. The first graduating fifth grade class of Westwood's Pine Hill elementary school held its moving on ceremony last week.

By Darcie Fisher for Westwood Public Schools

They may only have been together since February, but the first fifth grade class to graduate from Westwood’s new Pine Hill Elementary School proved to be a tight-knit group. The 57 students – who attended elementary school at the old Hanlon and Deerfield schools prior to February – formed the blended class of 2024. 

“They have shown leadership throughout this transition,” said Pine Hill Principal Josh Baumer. “They embody our core values of curiosity, tenacity, respect & caring—setting a strong example for the entire school. We are forever grateful to you as individuals and as a class.”

The ceremony started with a performance by members of the fifth-grade chorus. As students received their certificates, each was asked to step up to the microphone and share memories or final thoughts with each other and the audience.

“I will never forget the days when we played tag on the playground and soccer on the fields,” said fifth-grader Matthew Capodilupo. “I’ll never forget the amazing teachers from kindergarten through fifth grade. I hope I’ll still see them at Westwood events. As I move on to middle school, I hope I continue to make new friends.”

“I will always remember that once you came into school, everyone is really welcoming,” said fifth-grader Nishi Patel. “I am so very thankful that everyone is so kind and respectful. My six years have been great. Thank you to all the students and teachers that made it that way.”

Peter and Helen Syski came to cheer on their fifth-grader Teddy. They said the family is looking forward to his middle school years. “We’re really excited for the curricular opportunities up at the middle school, particularly the computer science and engineering [classes]. And the sports opportunities such as track and cross country.”

Fifth-grader Stella Primpas’ family was also in the audience. “We’re so excited,” said mom Pamela. “It’s been a long time coming and we are very excited that she’s going to be part of the first graduating class from Pine Hill. She loves it here. It’s been a really good transition, and I think the kids have all gotten to know each other in this brief period and she’s formed some nice friendships with the Hanlon kids. We’re very excited to cheer her on today.”

As a commemoration of the event, a fifth-grade parent group gifted each student a Westwood Class of 2031 sweatshirt. It will be only seven short years until these kids cross the high school graduation stage.

Thanks to Westwood Public Schools for sharing this news with Westwood Minute.

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