5th graders celebrate graduation in style

Fifth-graders graduated to the theme of "Stepping Into the Future" during a half-hour ceremony at the Stafford Civic Center Tuesday night. The 35 students who will be entering junior high or middle school next year were celebrated by parents, family and staff.

Students Carlene Brantley and Yellixa Requena went onstage and recited the poem "Stepping into the Future" and Derrick Williams and Ifanyichukwu Ogugua led other in the song of "I Believe I can Fly."

Superintendent M. Annette Cluff, whose picture is on the cover of "Who's Who in Black Houston," presented the book and diplomas to each graduating student. During a recent ceremony, a select  group of fifth-graders expressed their career goals in a videotaped message. Mrs. Cluff told the audience that she hopes the book will serve as an inspiration for students to named in a "Who's Who" book some day.

Teacher Mr. Ellis was the master of ceremony at the graduation event, Ms. Williams led the audience in prayer and Mr. Kerry Shelton, the transportation director, offered students encouraging words.

Southwest Campus director Dora Morrow assisted in congratulating each and every student who stepped onto the stage to be recognized.

Mrs. Cluff urged the departing students that they are welcome to come back and visit Varnett.

On Wednesday, Mrs. Cluff went to all three 5th-grade classrooms and signed copies of "Who's Who in Black Houston." Enthusiastic students surrounded the superintendent as she once again congratulated them and wished them good luck as they head to middle school. Some of those who didn't bring their books received autograph on the latest school newsletter that featured Mrs. Cluff and the "Who's Who" document. Many students responded by hugging Mrs. Cluff and offering her thanks.

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