On Thursday, June 16, 2022, Tolt Middle School hosted their annual 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony. The event, held in-person at Cedarcrest High School for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrated this year’s Tolt 8th graders in the Class of 2026. The event was also livestreamed for those who could not attend the event in person.
Hosted by Tolt principal Amie Karkainen, and featuring teachers, staff, and administration presenting awards of merit and recognition to Tolt students, the event culminated in a promotion to high school of nearly 240 Tolt Bears.
Following a performance of the National Anthem, on trumpet, by Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Smith, Ms. Karkainen reflected on the unprecedented three years this class has shared in middle school.
“You have experience with remote learning, hybrid learning, masks, hand sanitizer, wiping down desks, lunch outside under a tent…Through it all you have demonstrated resilience, grit, and flexibility. You have not allowed anything to stop you from learning and from making a positive impact on those around you. Our staff is extremely proud of you, and it has been a pleasure to be a part of your middle school years.”
Next, the Tolt 8th grade choir performed “The Story of My Life,” made popular by One Direction, and English Language Arts teacher David Nordmark introduced the Student Awards, voted on by their peers. In a variety of fun and unique categories, recipients included:
Most Reliable – Adelyn Jenkins
Most Likely to win Survivor – Lydia Swenson
Most Likely to be on Ninja Warrior – Sophia Hobson
Most Likely to be on Top Chef – McKenzie Bright
Most Likely to Audition for America’s Got Talent – Samantha Smith
Most Genuine – Summer Wheeler
Most Likely to Do Something for the Betterment of the World – Cruise Cullen
Most Likely to Start or Join a Band – Amos Horne
Most Likely to Walk on Mars – Robert Gudmundson
Most Likely to Have the Most Subscribers/Followers on Social Media – Riley Wallace
Mr. Nordmark then congratulated Kaitlyn Anderson on being chosen as Class Speaker.
Awards continued, celebrating achievement in Art, Music, Physical Education, Technology and Engineering, Spanish Language, and academic success and individual initiative. Karen Maguigad, Assistant Principal, announced the recipients for the Presidential Award for Educational Excellence, recognizing students who maintained a GPA of 3.5 or above and scored in the 90th percentile on the Math and Reading MAP test. She then announced recipients of the Presidential Award for Educational Achievement, honoring those students who showed outstanding educational growth, improvement and development, though they do not meet the criteria for the Educational Excellence Award.
Student speaker Kaitlyn Anderson
The centerpiece of the event came when Mrs. Maguigad introduced Kaitlyn Anderson. In her speech to classmates, she looked back on remote learning and quarantine and the transition back to full-time, in-person school. Along the way she shared some insightful observations.
“Now we might not have enjoyed our days on Zoom, but we are for sure grateful for those teachers who tried to keep us engaged in our learning,” said Anderson. “As we start this new chapter in our lives, a lot of us will change, but that is okay. Change is, for a lot of us is, scary. I know for me it is. There will be a lot of ups and downs throughout these next four years, but we will all go through it together. We are the writers of our future. We are all capable of such beautiful things. No one should judge each other for who they are. No matter what your goal is during this time, I encourage you to keep pushing forward and to not let anyone step in your way.”
Each year, Tolt honors two “Students of the Year,” voted on by the entire Tolt staff. The “Student of the Year” honors students who have excelled in and out of the classroom and shown outstanding character during their time at Tolt. This year’s honorees, presented by Ms. Karkainen, are Briselda Guzman Lopez and Korbin Randles.
The event concluded with teachers Scott Coats and Alecia Brooks reading the names of each student moving up from 8th grade to high school.
Please join us in celebrating the Tolt Bears as they become Red Wolves and Ravens for their high school experience. And congratulations once again to the Tolt Middle School Class of 2026!
A full list of award recipients is provided below.
Tolt Students of the Year:
Briselda Guzman Lopez
Outstanding Musician Award - Band (presented by Mike Stone):
Outstanding Musician Award - Vocal/Choral (presented by Linnea Gibbs):
Outstanding Achievement - Art (presented by Julie Lagace):
Technology & Engineering Awards (presented by Erik McFarland):
Physical Education Awards (presented by Kenneth Stull and Regan Wessman):
Spanish Language Student Awards (presented by Alecia Brooks):
8th Grade Core Content Awards (presented by Scott Coats and Quinn Thompson) The Academic Achievement Award is staff-selected and recognizes students with a minimum of a 3.5 GPA, also requires excellent attendance and daily demonstration of the Tolt Points of Pride. Students are also selected for having an excellent attitude and ability to collaborate with others.
The Individual Initiative Award is staff-selected and recognizes students who consistently demonstrate the Tolt Points of Pride, while also showing significant growth in learning from consistently applying creative, problem-solving skills.
Presidential Educational Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence (presented by Karen Maguigad) For students to be eligible, they must have a 3.5 Cumulative GPA at Tolt and have received a recommendation from a Core and Elective teacher for demonstrating excellence in the classroom on assessments and projects.
Kaitlyn Anderson, Maximus Balsley, Jai Bauer, Samuel Bellemare, Molly Briggs, Huckleberry Clapp, Yannick Decneut, Madelyn Derksen, Avery Dice, Blake Duncan, Bryce Foley, Benjamin Glover, Birkin Hamlin, Iris Hart, Amos Horne, Samuel Innis, Zoe Keller, Raphael Lipsky, Zachary Neal, Erin Nykamp, Thomas O’Dell, Fiona Pavlovsky, Grace Paepke, Adam Polner, Teagan Randles, Korbin Randles, Brielle Roze, Molly Schreur, Cora Shieder, Madeline Smith, Mia Stafford, Richard Steen, Eleanor Stivers, Iliana Wessendorf, Summer Wheeler.
Presidential Educational Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement (presented by Karen Maguigad) Students earning this recognition show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development in their academic subjects but do not meet the criteria for the Academic Excellence award.
Muhammed Bin Abdullah, Travis Byrd, Cristopher Cortes, Cruise Cullen, Diana Flores Gonzales, Calvin Hammer, Adelyn Jenkins, Viola Juarez, Macy LaVallee, Connor McMeins, Cierrah Reagan, Chloe Roestel, Ashley Sanchez Mejia, Sophie Schoeld, Christianna Schultz, Daren Schwope, Zoe Shettlesworth, Claire Simoneaux, Samantha Smith, Lillian Sprute, Gavin Thompson, Hailey Vernon, Anthony Walters, Kade Zeigler.