MILTON — Avalon Middle School students were all cheers and smiles, with the help of Milton High School's band and cheerleaders, when the school held its first ever pep rally Thursday afternoon.

According to AMS principal Tonya Shepherd, the rally was planned to help students get mentally prepared to succeed for the Florida Standard Assessments, which start next week.

"This was the first time we've done this," Shepherd said. "We know (they) worked really hard and we know (they) are going to rock the FSA."

Shepherd said she wanted to get the students, "pumped up and excited" about the tests and felt like this rally was a reward for all the hard work that they had done. She said students created banners to represent their motto of how they will succeed on the state mandated tests. 

Shepherd thanked the Milton High School band and cheerleaders for their support and willingness to come and perform for the students. 

"They loved it," she said.

Students of Avalon Middle said the pep rally was fun and they hope the school will continue doing them.

"It was awesome," Cooper Faust, a seventh-grader at the school said.