It was a beautiful day for an outside ceremony. They processed up the aisle with smiles, girls in white dresses and boys in suits, two of them leading the way with the class banner. The Boston Trinity Academy Class of 2025 was celebrating the move from middle school to upper school in last week's Eighth Grade Moving Up Chapel.

Joelle Szatkowski and JoJo Chalumeau, next year's Middle School Prefects, congratulated the Class upon their successful completion of middle school, and offered some advice to the rising freshmen.

"Grades matter more in high school," JoJo said, "but grades do not define you." He encouraged the class to get to know their teachers; he told them how important it is to take one day at a time and not stress about the future. "If you focus on the future you will miss the present," he said.

Joelle then stepped forward with her advice for focusing on the present: have fun – balance academics with hobbies; try new activities or sports; get involved in giving back to BTA by looking for ways to serve. "BTA is better when we work together," she said.

Mrs. Guerra, Dean of the Middle School, personally addressed each eighth grader, as she does every year.

Isabella Cusick, the 2021-2022 Head Prefect, spoke to the eighth grade class, telling them there is a "different feel in the upper school halls." The freshman year is like no other, she said. Isabella then addressed the upper school students, encouraging them to welcome the new freshmen with open arms. "Include them, direct them, assist them," she admonished. "Give them a freshman year to remember."

Mr. Guerra closed the assembly by offering his congratulations to the eighth graders on their move from middle school to upper school. However, he told them his job was not to congratulate them but to charge them. While confirming that the Class of 2025 is bright, artistic, and athletic, he challenged them to use their freshman year to come together in their differences.

"Learn to love ideas and learning for the sake of discovering truth, and not just for the sake of being right and getting a good grade," he continued. "You are little boys and little girls no longer. Take what you've been given and be young men and young women. You have been given much. Remember the words of Jesus: 'When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.' Be lights; let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." [Matthew 5:16]