Riverview School District


Tolt Celebrates the Class of 2025 in Virtual 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony


On Monday, June 14, 2021, Tolt Middle School conducted its second virtual 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony, with a livestream event celebrating this year’s Tolt 8th graders in the Class of 2025.

Hosted by Tolt principal Amie Karkainen, and featuring teachers, staff, and administration presenting awards of merit and recognition to Tolt students, the event culminated in a virtual promotion to high school of approximately 230 Tolt Thunderbirds.

In opening remarks, Mrs. Karkainen acknowledged that the second half of middle school was not what students expected it to be. She praised them for resilience, grit, and flexibility, adding: “You have not let anything stop you from learning and making a positive impact on those around you.”

Riverview Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Smith, echoed the thoughts of resiliency and shared a portion from Maya Angelou’s Letter to My Daughter poem: “You may not control all the events that happen to you. But you can decide to not be reduced by them.”

The centerpiece of the event came when Tolt Assistant Principal Paul Beckel introduced Kaylee Scott, this year’s student speaker, as nominated and voted on by the 8th grade class.

“We have all grown since (our) first day. We have learned from our teachers, families, and each other. We have taught our teachers a thing or two,” Scott said. “We have all come so far since we started at this school. And we have all made it this far because of each other. For that, I would like to say, ‘thank you.’” She concluded her remarks acknowledging the nervousness that accompanies the transition from middle school to high school and spoke to the excitement that also follows with that anticipation of what may come next for her fellow classmates in the future.

Each year, Tolt honors two “Students of the Year,” voted on by the entire Tolt staff. The “Student of the Year” recognizes students who have excelled in and out of the classroom, and shown outstanding character during their time at Tolt. This year’s honorees, presented by principal Amie Karkainen, are CJ Hernandez and Elsa Rindal.

The event concluded with teachers Scott Coats and Julie Bawden reading the names of each student moving up from 8th grade to high school this year.

Join us in celebrating our Tolt Thunderbirds as they transition into Red Wolves and Ravens for their high school experience. Congratulations to the Class of 2025!

A full list of award recipients is provided below:

Tolt Students of the Year (presented by Amie Karkainen):

Student Choice Awards (presented by David Nordmark):

Outstanding Musician Award - Band (presented by Mike Stone):

Outstanding Musician Award - Vocal/Choral (presented by Linnea Gibbs):

Academic Achievement - Art (presented by Ronda Ish):

Individual Initiative - Art (presented by Ronda Ish):

Tech & Engineering Awards (presented by Erik McFarland):

Physical Education Awards (presented by Wes Sjoerdsma and Regan Wessman)

Team Zenith Awards (presented by Scott Coats)
The Academic Achievement Award is staff-selected and recognizes students with a minimum of a 3.5 GPA, also requires excellent attendance and daily demonstration of the Tolt’s Points of Pride. Students are also selected for having an excellent attitude and ability to collaborate with others.

Academic Achievement

  • Allyson Brna, Annika Ewing, Gabrielle Laughlin, Victoria Laughlin, Chiara Scheumann, Murphy Vliem

The Individual Initiative Award is staff-selected and recognizes students who consistently demonstrate the Tolt Points of Pride, while also showing significant growth in learning from consistently applying creative, problem-solving skills.  

Individual Initiative

  • Hasitha Chaparala, Ryan Frodsham, Nate Harrington

Presidential Educational Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence (presented by Paul Beckel)
For students to be eligible, they must have a 3.5 Cumulative GPA at Tolt and have received a recommendation from a Core and Elective teacher for demonstrating excellence in the classroom on assessments and projects.

Presidential Educational Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement (presented by Paul Beckel)
Students earning this recognition show outstanding educational growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development in their academic subjects but do not meet the criteria for the Academic Excellence award.