August 3, 2014
The final event, marking the end of their senior year, is the Commencement ceremony. The dress code for this ceremony includes blue blazers with white pants with blue and gold ties for the boys, and white dresses of choice for the girls. The actual ceremony is held outdoors, but with a quick-fix backup-plan in the gym incase of rain, and is open to the public. The choir sings and seniors receive their diplomas.
“At the ceremony they give out a series of awards and there are two speakers from the senior class who, this year, are seniors Bilal Askari and Yusra Murad. There’s also one main commencement speaker who, this year, is the Dean [Judy Cummins],” Hughes said.
The speakers were selected for this position by writing speeches which were assessed.
“They had us read our speeches in front of a dozen or so members of SCLC [Senior Class Leadership Council], and a couple of faculty advisors, one by one, all on the same day,” graduation speaker Askari said. “..our messages are generally centric to the ideas of moving on, and what success will look like going forward. We also aim to remind the class that this success is different for everyone,” he said.
The goal of Murad’s speech is somewhat similar to that of Askari’s: “ We’ve gone to a rigorous school, as everyone knows, and sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough acknowledgment of the hard work each student exercises on a day to day level…But more than anything, I want to say goodbye,” Murad said. “but [also] convey that this is not the end. This was one of many stages in our lives and just because it’s over and there are people we won’t see anymore, it doesn’t make it less important than what lies ahead.”
This ceremony and these speeches mark the end of the 2014 school year and another new beginning. “I thought it would be a little sad to graduate, and it will be [sad] leaving my friends at the end of the summer,” senior Zoe Matticks said.
“Of course,there’ll always be a mix of individuals who are either very reluctant or very eager to leave high school,” Askari said. “But either way, Commencement is precisely what the name implies – the beginning of something new and malleable. And that’s kind of exciting.”