Scarsdale High School Seniors Share Their Thoughts on Virtual Graduation

Amidst this time of chaos, the Scarsdale High School seniors have been trying their best to preserve the senior year traditions that they looked forward to throughout their high school careers. SHS recently announced that graduation will be held online, with diplomas sent in the mail. We asked 10 seniors to share their final thoughts on their time as Scarsdale students, as well as their opinions on this new graduation plan. Many have mixed emotions. Here is what they shared:

Tara BleusteinTara B Photo
“I never imagined when we left school in early March that we would never return as students. While I’m upset that I can’t celebrate graduation or have prom the way grades before me have, I understand how hard it is to find a solution that is safe and socially distant. I think a lot of us, though, are still hoping that some of the traditional senior events will be postponed rather than cancelled. The administration has tried to make seniors feel special with a drive by which we all really appreciated and are trying to come up with some creative ways to recognize graduation. Hopefully restrictions will ease this summer and we will get to celebrate together!” 

Dyaln W PhotoDylan Wasserberger
“The rest of the senior class and I are all very angry and irritated at the way Scarsdale High School is handling our graduation ceremony. Many neighboring towns are doing so much more for their seniors and we believe that if the school would listen to our ideas instead of declining a lot of our proposals that we could have the graduation we deserve. Ending high school like this in the midst of a pandemic is really hard on a lot of us because we never get an actual ending or closure in the slightest. Even though it is annoying that the school may not seem like they aren’t doing anything, it’s still important to remind ourselves that during these times everyone is trying to do their best while being aware of the impact that the pandemic may have if we do an in person graduation.”

Coco DweckCoco D Photo
“Corona in general has been really hard for us seniors... our last days as high school students and our last times with our friends have been taken from us as well as countless traditions like prom, the senior play, senior transition day, and more. And being one of the editors-in-chief of the yearbook, hearing that the seniors wouldn’t get to see it until late August is especially disappointing. We understand how horrible the circumstances are for everyone suffering with loss and illness but we also as a grade have tried to make this time as bearable and positive as possible. Our ability to come up with creative small and safe ways to see each other and celebrate our final year has been a huge part of what makes our class so special. Looking towards graduation with a lot of ideas and passion we were hopeful that SHS would follow in the footsteps of neighboring towns in doing a socially distanced in-person graduation, but were massively disappointed by what we were presented with... essentially a Zoom, a drive by, and being mailed out diplomas weeks later. Our student body, student government, parents, and SHS faculty have been tirelessly trying to find a compromise to make the end of the year special but it’s super unfortunate how dividing and hectic things have become. We are really just looking for something to look forward to and something that we think measures up to how hard we have worked for this moment.”

Rshabh G PhotoRishabh Gharekhan
“In the beginning of the year, no one would have expected that our senior year would end the way it will. That being said, the school has been doing a great job in trying to make us feel special! The signs that they dropped off was a really powerful moment. In the current circumstances, it makes sense to have a virtual graduation but being together while graduating would be awesome. SHS has really made me a better student and friend and I hope that a way can be found to bring our class together one more time to celebrate our achievements.”

Jordan TepperJordan T Photo
“As a senior at Scarsdale High School, it is extremely important to me, as well as my peers, to have a socially distant graduation. I know it is possible, as Yorktown has figured out a similar plan. After all our hard work and determination, I have high hopes that SHS will put in the effort it takes to make for a memorable graduation. Already missing out on so many big events and milestones, graduation is the last chance to remember this year's graduating class. I have had an amazing 3 and a half years at Scarsdale High School and I hope to have a memorable ending as well.”

Brendan L PhotoBrendan Lee
“Although the end of my time at SHS has been quite out of the ordinary, I am very pleased with the way students, student government, and faculty joined together to make our final months at SHS as enjoyable as possible. Yes, we have all been staying in our homes, but Zoom classes quickly became a great way to spend time with our teachers and classmates and continue our education despite the pandemic. The drive-by senior appreciation parade was such a nice surprise. It was great to see our teachers again in person and reminded us of the community bond that we will forever have as SHS seniors. I am so excited for our graduation ceremony. Even though we will be in our cars and not walking up onto the graduation stage, I really appreciate the faculty doing the best they can to still honor the seniors in these times. My four years at SHS have certainly been academically challenging— but most of all fun and memorable.”

Liat BlumenfeldLiat B Photo
“Personally, I had the best experience at SHS. I am very upset and let down that my last year has been robbed from me. The faculty and my classmates made it the best 4 years I could have asked for. For graduation, the school sent an email about mailing our diplomas, having a drive by and a virtual graduation. I think that this is the one thing I was disappointed to hear in my years in high school. This year was supposed to be one of the best of our lives and a virtual graduation is not the way anyone thought it would end. I think a better option would be to postpone graduation till it is safe to do it outside and socially distanced. I think having graduation isn’t the same without having the people who made high school so memorable. Overall, I think Scarsdale made my high school experience amazing, but I think it is a bad way to end an amazing 4 years.”

Marc I PhotoMarc Ifrah
“Many of my classmates and I are vehemently disappointed by the graduation plan proposed by the school administration. I feel that a few seconds of driving past your teachers does not honor and celebrate the hard work and dedication that each and every senior has put into their high school experience. Furthermore, to go through a graduation without seeing your friends and classmates, the very people with which you’ve made so many memories, takes away much of the joy of graduating. While it’s tremendously difficult to devise a graduation plan that would obey state guidelines while still commending the seniors honorably, many ideas presented by Scarsdale parents and students have been both feasible and exciting. For example, having a few different graduations on Dean Field that are based on sign-up dates. Under this proposal, friends would sign up for the same date and attend their graduation standing 6 feet apart from one another on Dean Field, while receiving their diplomas from their family rather than the principal. This proposal pays great respect to the seniors while still following state guidelines to ensure the community’s safety. Overall, I’ve had the best four years of my life at Scarsdale High School and have made unforgettable memories, so I wouldn’t want my last memory of Scarsdale High School to be dull and unmemorable.”

Sammy RosenbergSammy R Photo
“It's been very difficult grasping the fact that all of the senior traditions I have been looking forward to for most of my life will not happen. I wish there was a way to celebrate our accomplishments and graduation like it was before the pandemic, but it seems like the situation is nearly impossible to manage. I really appreciate all of the efforts that the numerous committees, parents, and facility have put in to make the situation less difficult and will always remember the care they have shown the senior class. I wish I could have had a prom, graduation, and other closing ceremonies, but on a positive note, this difficult time has brought me closer to my friends and family and I am grateful for that.”

Ty K PhotoTy Kawamura
“Although I am incredibly thankful for all the work and effort that the high school has put into trying to make it feel like the typical end of senior year, I remain deeply saddened about missing some of the key milestones of my time at Scarsdale. The senior class was unable to have assassin, Spring break, the last day of school, prom, and graduation. Missing these huge moments, ones that I have been looking forward to for years, has made me feel as if I am lacking closure from not only my time at Scarsdale High School, but from my entire time living in Scarsdale. Additionally as many colleges are still deciding whether or not they will open in the fall, I am fearful that the beginning of my college experience will also be affected. I deeply hope that the school will revisit their decision to have a virtual graduation and to cancel prom and instead will look to host these events in the future. Without walking on graduation day and experiencing prom, I feel as if my time at Scarsdale is incomplete, and I would much rather have these events in the future instead of not having them at all.”