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Bedford Eighth-Graders Look Ahead to High School

WESTPORT, Conn. – The gym at Westport’s Bedford Middle School was packed with proud parents, family members and friends as nearly 300 eighth-graders became incoming high school freshmen.

Before the 290 students walked across the stage to receive their eighth-grade certificates, they were treated to laughs and words of advice from student team leaders Nicolas Ribolla, Jimmy Ray Stagg and Julia Schorr.

“We’re going to continue to make mistakes all through our lives and learn from them. Even when you’re old, have a receding hair line and are giving butterscotch to your grandchildren, you won’t be perfect,” Julia said, eliciting laughs from the crowd.

“But if we have people to support us as we go through our journey, and push us to try new things—even if it means we’ll make a few mistakes along the way—then we’ll ultimately be successful.”

Playing off William Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages of Man,” Jimmy Ray told his fellow classmates that they all, over their three years at Bedford, went through the “Seven Ages of Bedford.” As they entered Bedford as sixth-graders, he said they were “the infant." Now, as they graduate middle school, he said they have reached the seventh and final stage: second childhood.

“This age represents what we’re going to be soon. When we move in to Staples, we’re going to be like we were in sixth-grade,” said Jimmy, explaining that they will go through all seven ages again in high school. “Now as we have finished the Seven Ages of Bedford, let’s begin the Seven Ages of Staples.”

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