Under cloudy skies and comfortable temperatures, 382 Schreiber seniors graduated in front of a large crowd. The ceremony started like many others with the orchestra playing the “Pomp and Circumstance March” under the leadership of Carol Garfolo. The march was led by school administrators, who were followed by the senior class. What made this graduation different from other years was that all the students wore the same color robe–blue with a white scarf.
Another first for the graduating class was the annoying drone of an engine of a small plane that circled the graduating field four times with a banner offering congratulations to a student from their mother. This engine sound competed with the opening comments and the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
David Miller made the opening remarks. Principal Ira Pernick and School Board President Karen Sloan spoke as well.
Student commencement speaker Addison Ronis cheerfully spoke next. She charged the class with: “You don’t need to have all these wild expectations from today. This beautiful class has been preparing for this day…We are ready for this and we are good enough to be who we are supposed to be. My fear is that there are students sitting here who don’t believe that. If we don’t believe it, all the amazing potential is lost. Don’t let that get lost. Embrace your strengths and throw them at people who say it does not matter.”
Beth Weisburd was up next to award the Bogart Scholarship. She said to be considered for this award a student must be in the top 5 percent of the class, take extra curricular activities and showing leadership outside of class. This award went to Mikayla Hyman, who will be going to Middlebury College next fall.
Superintendent Kathleen Mooney spoke about the $2.2 million in scholarships awarded to many of the students, beating last year. She then discussed a personal issue that literally and figuratively had to do with the heart. She said that the day was a milestone for the class and for herself because of triple bypass surgery she had exactly a month earlier.
“The truth of the matter is we are heading in one direction but life has a way of taking us off-course, sometimes in a heartbeat,” said Dr. Mooney. She concluded with a Chinese proverb about an invisible thread.
After the speeches, the entire graduation class was called up individually to be acknowledged on the stage. Pernick than asked the class to change the direction of their tassel on their cap and formally presented the class of 2016 to Dr. Mooney. She formally accepted the class as graduates and caps quickly flew high in the air in celebration. The ceremony ended in the back of the field with plenty of hugs and photos from awaiting family members.