The final day of middle school for 378 McCaffrey students took place Wednesday, June 8. It was also the final promotion for retiring Principal Ron Rammer who has been the principal at McCaffrey since it opened 19 years ago.

Rammer has been in the education field for 38 years, 36 of them in Galt including a stint at Galt High School. It is customary for the top students at McCaffrey to be given Top Dog medals to wear at promotion. Staff surprised Rammer with his own personalized medal and said he had finally made “Top Dog.”

“It’s been a great journey,” said Rammer.

Superintendent Lois Yount also surprised Rammer at the end of the ceremony by announcing that the science building would be named after Rammer and a plaque would soon appear on the building.

The students, wearing matching McCaffrey T-shirts instead of the traditional black gown, filed in the back of the ceremony and took their seats. Assistant principal Tina Homdus welcomed the crowd, and students Miranda Regal and Derek Nelson led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Principal Rammer then had some heartfelt words for the students.

“All of us here have the power to be nice,” said Rammer. “Your words and actions are a reflection of who you are and how you have been raised as well as what is in your heart. Each of you is a kind person at heart, but sometimes you make bad choices, because you’re young. You make these choices due to peer pressure or immaturity that do not represent who you actually are as a person. So, I ask you to think before you act.”

Next, students Kelly Faul and Joshua Schmidt addressed the crowd reflecting on their years and memories at McCaffrey.

After that, all 378 students’ names were called, and they crossed the platform and shook an administrator’s hand. Two students appeared to fake falls, with one even falling before his handshake and after, to the shock and uncomfortable laughs of their classmates.

Administration took it in stride and moved them along. In 19 years of promotions, that is the first time a student has fallen, let alone two.

After assistant principal Joshua Saldate presented the class as promoted, the traditional confetti cannons shot off behind the surprised students, and everyone was dismissed to pick up their certificates and find their parents.