delivered by Kathleen Tuck Fontaine '83
delivered by Shayna Appel '78
I have the privilege each year of getting to say a few words to the senior class whether they want me to or not - and whether I want to or not! This year, I'm very pleased to be able to address this particular class. There are many reasons for this, seniors, but I can tell you - and this will surprise you - that to me the most stand-out characteristic about your group is that you are the only class in my long career to have written itself a mission statement. I had been invited to work with you during your junior year bonding day, and we talked about class goals. When I mentioned that goals often emerge from a sense of mission, you were all over that and worked collaboratively for about 10 minutes before you nailed who you are collectively. Here's what you came up with:
by Clara Richardson-Omamo '18
The Class of 2017 chose College Counselor Lauren Cunniffe to deliver closing remarks at their graduation.
Thank you, class of 2017, for this honor. I’ve heard that pausing during speeches helps to command the audience’s attention - to be honest, in my case, pausing means I’m trying to calm my racing heart and catch my breath. I did not have the benefit of PB’s rhetoric class. The fact that I’m standing here clutching the podium shows how much respect and affection I have for all of you.
The Class of 2017 chose faculty member Jake Steward to deliver opening remarks at their graduation.
Good morning friends, family, and students. Welcome to Stoneleigh-Burnham school, and please join me in congratulating the class of 2017. They have worked hard (often), stayed focused (for the most part), and today they make us proud. They do have one final task to accomplish before we can name them graduates of Stoneleigh-Burnham school, but more on that in a moment.
speech written and delivered at the 2017 Commencement by Xiangge (Coco) Zhao '17.
Dear students, faculty, staff, and family members:
Good morning, my name is Coco Zhao. Thank you all for coming to the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2017. We appreciate your participation.
Today, I am here, on behalf of my class, to speak to you visitors about our class character and to speak to you my classmates about how we can achieve our future goals by remembering our past together.
I have the privilege each year of offering some reflections about the graduating class, and I usually try to focus on the nature of the class and its contributions to the school. Seniors: Though you are a relatively small group, you are powerful; more than half of you have been here 4, 5, or 6 years so we know you quite well and have delighted in watching you grow. If I had to qualify you as a group, I would say you are our philosophical class. There is almost nothing you have accepted at face value, and because of that you have challenged us in good ways (and, in your earlier years, in more typically adolescent ways :). Those of us who have worked with you know that the best challenges come from the heart, in other words from people who care enough to question - and I believe that especially in your work of this year, you have embodied that kind of challenge for us. You want us to be “our best selves,” and I appreciate that in you.
- Seniors - You did it and now begins your journey. You are heading off to the next chapter.
- You will face adversities and injustices of our society because of your genders and your identities. There will be many in this world who will believe that you are not worthy, but I beg to differ because you are phenomenal and because “haters will hate." You have the vision and dedication, so use them to your advantage. Do not ever allow anyone, to devalue who you are, because of you are... use your voice, stand tall, and keep your head held high.
Senior graduating class of 2016, I was absolutely flabbergasted when Sally told me that you had selected me to be one of your commencement speakers. I want you to know what an incredible privilege it is for me to be here with you today, celebrating your special day.