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The Centennial Graduation at Scarsdale High School

hatsThreats of thundershowers brought the graduation for the SHS Class of 2017 indoors but did not dampen the spirits of the happy seniors and their family and friends. Almost 400 students graduated in the 100th commencement exercise at Scarsdale High School on Friday June 23, 2017. Due to the weather, each student was given two tickets for admission to the gym, with the overflow crowd watching the ceremonies on a large screen in the auditorium. In the end, the rain did not start until well after the ceremony, giving everyone a chance for family photos outside.

The class assembled for the last time for a group picture, DSC01127and SHS Senior Caroline Kaufman was presented with the Henry David Thoreau award for marching to the beat of a different drum. Sabeen Khan explained that the class would mark the centennial by burying a time capsule in the new courtyard to be built at the school. She had collected memorabilia including ten memes from the freshmen class, a Raiders jersey from the sophomores and the New York Times from the juniors. The seniors voted to include an iPhone. The time capsule will be unearthed one hundred years from now in the year 3017.

Lee Maude, who is just completing two years as President of the Scarsdale School Board welcomed the crowd and congratulated parents on the "extraordinary effort that that got (your) kids here today. She told students that they will take the Scarsdale High School experience with them and advised them to work collaboratively, to maintain lifelong relationships with friends, teachers, coaches and mentors and to use what they have learned to "engage in the world as a productive and informed citizen." She asked them to "listen, consider all views and engage in civil conversation" and to live the motto, "Non Sibi." Maude also encouraged the grads to wander off the beaten path, try new subjects, experience the unknowns and "all that life has to offer."

daisClass Treasurers Chloe Suzman and Zach Gelles introduced the class faculty advisor Eileen Cagner and Heather Waters, calling them the "dynamic duo" who led the class with patience and passion.

The advisors' enthusiasm for the class was clear. Waters exclaimed, "You did it, and you did it with style!" They complimented the students on their dance moves, their sense of community and service to others. They advised them to be kind to themselves and to others and to be nice and stay positive. Quoting from Willy Wonka, the senior class play, Cagner said:

"If you want to view paradiseprocessional
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There's nothing to it"

Class President Alex Lane noted the inclusivity of the class, saying, "We found a way to come together. We went beyond our core group of friends and bonded with others." At the prom he noticed, "Crazy inclusivity and togetherness." He said, "I hope that wherever you end up you find a way to feel exactly as I do now. I hope your find a web of special people. I am grateful that you have been part of my web."

SHS Principal Ken Bonamo looked back on Scarsdale history 100 years ago, explaining that women did not have the right to vote, less than a third of adolescents were in school and the word "teenager" had not yet been invented. He told the students that they would be called on to face the next big problems and said that commencement marked "the beginning of the phase when more will be asked of you to make the world a better place." He continued, "All of us gathered here today have the shared hope that you will have a life of intellectual engagement, a life filled with purpose, a life filled with love... Leave a legacy of love... Look at yourselves and love what you see. ... Infuse love in your work, in your relationships and in your self regard. Bonamo parting words were, "I wish you all a wonderful graduation day and health and happiness in the future."

DSC01141With that, Superintendent Thomas Hagerman asked, "Have these seniors met the requirements for high school graduation imposed by the Regents of the State University of New York, the Commissioner of Education and the Board of Education?" He certified them as graduates of Scarsdale High School, bid them to go forth and with that, each students was given his or her diploma.

Watch the ceremony online here:

Cathy
dais
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