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Graduates Bid Farewell to SHS And Look to Change the Future

GradhatsPhoto by Jon ThalerThis year, the weather cooperated nicely as Scarsdale High School graduated its 101st senior class this past Friday, June 22. Almost 400 students received their diplomas at Dean Field, surrounded by family, friends and SHS faculty, and were urged to “endeavor to make the world a better place.” As he congratulated his seniors, Scarsdale High School Principal Ken Bonamo said, “The key to your success…will be to infuse love into your work, your relationships and your self-regard.”

Scarsdale School Board President Bill Natbony welcomed the crowd and reflected on how the graduates had come: “Your heads must be so filled with dates, formulas, historical facts, vocabulary words, grammar rules, foreign language words and artistic concepts. Some of this knowledge you will actually use in your careers; some of it you will happily forget or have already purposely forgotten. However, there are certain key lessons and rules you should never forget.”

He quoted Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: 1) Share everything; 2) Play fair; 3) Don’t hit people; 4) Put things back where you found them; 5) Clean up your own mess; 6) Don’t take things that aren’t yours; 7) Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody; 8) Wash your hands before you eat; 9) Flush; and 10) Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you; 11) Live a balanced life – learn some, drink some, draw some, paint some, and sing and dance and play and work everyday some; 12) Watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together; and, last but not least, 13) Be aware of wonder…. “Each of these has significant meaning in your life and future… 13 years later,” he concluded.

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Photos above by Jessica Solodar

Mason Marsh and Jake Miller, co-treasurers of the graduating class, followed Natbony to introduce class advisors, Sandra Chan and Elise D’Ammora. “We have the pleasure of introducing our Class of 2018 government advisors…(who’ve) worked tirelessly over the past four years to provide our class with fun and meaningful events… Their hours upon hours of dedication and hard work should not go unnoticed.” Chan and D’Ammora then addressed the graduates. D’Ammora said, “Leave here with at least one good memory and let the bad ones go… Stand up for what you believe in, even if others disagree with you… Ask questions, stay informed, and play an active role in whatever you do… Find the courage to find something new.”

Chan said, “Accept that you will make mistakes… Hopefully, your experiences here in Scarsdale have taught you that mistakes can be a pathway for growth, if you choose to learn from them… Finally, appreciate your friends and be a good friend… A true friend celebrates even the smallest successes with you, listens without judgment and forgives unconditionally. Hold on tight to those friends… and embrace every opportunity to make new ones in the future.”

Class of 2018 Co-Secretaries Rhea Kothari and Perri Thaler then extended thanks to SHS faculty and staff for their work and support throughout the last four years. “For all that you’ve given us, we cannot thank you enough. Thank you to everyone who has made our high school experience memorable.”

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Photos above by Jon Thaler

Matthew Greenberg, senior class vice president, followed and said, “We were lost in this strange place called Scarsdale High School. But, somehow, by some miracle, we all made it here today… We learned compassion, through endless community service. We learned the importance of hard work and perseverance… And we learned, that when our own efforts were not enough, we could always turn to our teachers and our friends for aid.” Blake Goldstein, senior class president, then addressed his fellow graduates, citing their many volunteer efforts and willingness to speak up for what they felt was right. “Together we are strong of will and full of passion… As we step out into college and into the real world… we cannot forget the impact we’ve made here and will continue to make.”

Just before presenting diplomas to his graduates, Bonamo stated, “Your engagement and initiative in advocating for change reminded meGradLauraPhoto by Laura Halligan of the inspirational language of Robert F. Kennedy, who said, ‘Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their peers, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rare commodity, rarer than bravery in battle or great intelligence… To make real change and bring about progress, you will need to add personal courage to the skills and knowledge you gain in school and college.” He continued, “Given the magnitude of (today’s) social and global problems, we will need your fresh voices and new ideas…. Write your untold stories for yourselves and those around you.”

Scarsdale Schools Superintendent Thomas Hagerman then certified the seniors as graduates of Scarsdale High School and bid them to go forth, grow in wisdom and serve the common good. Each each student was awarded with his or her diploma. You may watch the ceremony online, via the Scarsdale School District website.

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