This year’s 2018 Commencement exercises took place on Saturday, June 9, at Abbey Chapel on the Mount Holyoke College campus. Seventy-seven domestic and international students comprised the class of 2018.
“In a year when moments of silence, flags at half mast, and thoughts and prayers are more the norm than the anomaly, our students taught us about being moral and responsible participants in the world,” said Head of School Steve Griffin in his opening remarks. “The Pride march, walkouts to protest gun violence, and the peace parade were strong examples that show that our students have a voice and are not afraid to use it. One of the great measures of becoming effective individuals is the ability to have an impact on those around us—to expand our circle of influence.”
Kevin Hillman, French teacher and Chair of World Languages, was chosen by students to be this year’s Commencement speaker. “As most of you know, I find great solace in everything green and growing. I’m going to ask you to please, each and every one of you, go out and plant your own life’s garden,” he said, near the end of his speech. “Take pride and joy in the work that you do. Confront the weeds that get in the way of things—but leave a few around to give life some perspective. Who knows, you might just find a beautiful flower in the end. Above all, be sure to share your harvests with others. My friends, if you do all that, then I will be so, so proud to have the time to live in that beautiful world.”
Each year we celebrate our eighth graders as they leave Middle School and enter Upper School. The Eighth Grade Rite of Passage, which took place on Magnolia Day (the last day of school), involves projects, presentations, and an awards ceremony. This year the following members of the Class of 2022 received awards:
MIDDLE SCHOOL AWARDS – 8th Grade Rite of Passage
Zi Jian (Matt) Jiang
PHYSICAL EDUCATION and ATHLETICS:
Zi Jian (Matt) Jiang
Congratulations to award recipients and to all Class of 2022 students, and thank you to Head of Middle School Mrs. Albanese for coordinating the event!
We had a little of everything at our Spring Dance Concert in early May! Shout out and much applause to all the students who participated and to dance instructor Ms. Muzzy for overseeing the event, and thanks to Carrie Lu ’19 for the great photos.
Several weeks ago we held our most delicious tradition–the International Festival! This student-run event, held in the immediate aftermath of the Run for Hope 5K and Color Run, is an international feast. Students bought and prepared food from their native countries. “So good” doesn’t begin to describe it–thanks to all who took part!
We celebrated some recruitment signings this week!
Three student-athletes were recruited by Division III schools. Although they aren’t eligible for athletic scholarships due to NCAA Division III rules, all three students were highly sought after for their respective new teams.
Mason Baral ’18 of Palmer, MA will play soccer for Dean College in Franklin, MA. He’s a three-year varsity player who has played a variety of positions, including goalkeeper, striker, and central defender. He was named Most Improved Player in 2016 (Fall Sports Awards) and was a 2017 SENE All-League Selection.
Two members of the Varsity Prep Basketball team signed their recruitment papers. Neville Lee ’18 of Yonkers, NY will play at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and Khalyen Mahdi ’18 of Holyoke, MA will be play for the Wooster College team in Wooster, OH. “I think both Khaylen and Neville will be stellar student-athletes at their respective schools,” said Coach Rivera. “I think they’re ready to help their teams as freshmen and will have a presence on campus from Day 1.”