MANCHESTER - On Wednesday, June 11, 55 students graduated from the 8th grade at Manchester Elementary Middle School. The students heard advice from adults and even one of their peers.

Tyler Jager, who spoke at graduation, also received multiple awards. He is the classes scholar leader, as well as the recipient of the Edna T. Wright Social Studies Award and Outstanding Scholar Award. Jager, encouraged his classmates not to wait for opportunities, but to act.

"We constantly hear versions of just wait until you finish high school, or just wait until you finish college, just wait until you get a job, just wait until you have a family. Just wait, just wait, just wait," he said. "Yet all my friends, mentors and the MEMS community have taught me how truly wrong that idea is. I want to ask every person in the year right now, are you happy with how you've lived your life so far? And if you are, is it because you just waited?"

While Jager encouraged his peers to go out and do, Brian Vogel of the Manchester School Board encouraged patience.

"You're about to embark on your high school years; this is the time when you will learn everything that your parents have spent their post-high school years forgetting; be patient with them," he said.

Vogel also encouraged parents to be patient with their students.

While Vogel and Jager focused on what the students will do in their future, Principal Sarah Merrill also spoke about what the class has accomplished so far.


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She said this class has three students that have lived in another country, 45 students who have seen their work exhibited at the Southern Vermont Arts Center and 36 percent of the class has been a MEMS students since kindergarten. These are all road marks on their map of life. Merrill said the milestones on their map of life may have so far included the birth of a sibling, making the honor roll and in the future may include events like getting a driver's license or graduating from high school.

"I encourage you to look beyond those important milestones to include on your map of life the circumstances which develop your character," she said. "Helping others in times of need, stepping outside of your comfort zone, leading in difficult times, creating new innovations and redefining normal. So in the words of author Seth Godin, we reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them."

The Manchester Elementary Mid dle School class of 2014 is Jackson Ameden, Lily Audy, Sara Avison, Emily Bleakie, Ali Burdick, Ceirra Cayer, Courtney Cole, Samuel Cottrell, Lauren Drasher, Sernea Dublois, Brandon Dufrense, Isabella Dworkin, Bryan Emery, Edward Flanagan, Gage French, William French, Shayla Heekin, Shea Hughes, Claire Ianuzzi, Tyler Jager, Chad King, Bridget Koscinski-Dufrense, Katharine Liell, Georgia Lord, Cory Mack, Matther Madeira, Matther Mayne, Jay McCoy, Sophie Miles, Lakin Morgan, Amber Morris, Samiel Nebraska, Sophie Neidhold, Donald Nichols, Cody Pelletier, Garrett Petrossi, Grace Petty, Hannah Pinkus, Koben Pottala, Cara Pouk, Lili Rambold, Evan Rawson, Abigail Redmond, Claire Reid, Connor Simonds, Lukas Smith, Margaret Sullivan, Paige Vinclette, Riley Vogel, James Wachala, Mark Wade, Beckett Weir, Nicholas Wil liams, Thomas Wollen and Rachael Wood.