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SELMA – And now they are Bears. As the group of Abraham Lincoln Middle School eighth-graders readied inside Selma High’s gymnasium for their June 4 promotion ceremony, they adjusted their ceremonial robes one last time as Activities Director Jennifer Miller-McColm called for them to line up. By the end of the evening, these soaring ALMS Eagles would be one step closer to becoming Selma High Bears.

Associated Student Body President Reyna Simon would be giving a speech and admitted she was a bit nervous realizing thousands of family members were waiting.

“We went through the practice but I’m so nervous,” Simon said. Reflecting on what this day meant to the students, their families and the ALMS staff, Simon said she was appreciative of all the effort it took to reach this milestone.

“I just want to say thank you to our families for coming out here and supporting us through middle school. Families show up to everything like our awards assemblies and student of the month awards.

"Their parents are proud of them and they should be because the students are being promoted. It’s a new chapter in our life and we’re going to go to Selma High.”

Simon said she’s ready for the new challenges of high school and is even making a plan to attend California State University, Fresno, and have a career as an ob-gyn after that. But first things first, and that meant delivering her speech and preparing for her first day at Selma High.

“I’m a little worried. But I just got to have positive energy and strive for my best.”

The evening was filled with more encouragement from Selma Unified Superintendent Tanya Fisher and the ALMS Principal Charles Coleman.

With Program Manager Shawn Wisley translating his message in Spanish, Coleman reminded his students to not forget who they are, or the potential each has to shine like a star.

“It doesn’t matter if you’d made mistakes, where you come from, how much money you have or what others think of you. These things are all part of the process of life,” Coleman said. “The most important thing to remember is you have greatness inside of you. It’s up to you allow that greatness to make the world a better place.”

Coleman presented the Class of 2018 to Superintendent Tanya Fisher who accepted the group as Selma High’s incoming class of Selma High freshmen.

“It’s our full expectation that each of these students will participate as high school graduates as the Class of 2022,” she said to the ecstatic cheers of the packed stadium. The ceremony concluded with each graduates’ name read as they posed for their official photo and marched across the field.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or

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