Scenes From A Graduation

Staples held its 123rd commencement this afternoon.  The only thing warmer than the good feeling of watching an outstanding class graduate was the fieldhouse.  The Class of 2010 is now history — but all of Westport salutes them for an astonishing 13-year school career of achievement, enthusiasm and joy.

Smiling graduates-to-be line up before entering the fieldhouse to "Pomp and Circumstance."

TV production instructor Mike Zito at the control board in the fieldhouse. Savvy attendees fled the sweltering fieldhouse for the air-conditioned cafeteria, where TV monitors showed the action up close and personal.

Jason Bennett, flanked by his proud mom Donna Pace and eventual Staples grad brother.

Dartmouth-bound Megan Kratky is congratulated by Brendan Lesch. He hopes to graduate next year.

Retired chemistry teacher Bruce McFadden shares some words with Jahari Dodd. Jahari was the MC for last night's Baccalaureate ceremony.

Michael McCarthy poses with his grandmother, Joan McCarthy, and father Stuart McCarthy. Stuart is a Staples '79 grad.

Two legends are retiring this year: choral director Alice Lipson and Latin instructor Dan Sullivan. As with the400-plus grads, today was a bittersweet time for them.

6 responses to “Scenes From A Graduation

  1. Arthur B. Benjamin

    Congrats to all graduates. I always preferred outdoor graduations. It always seemed more celebratory with almost the chaos of a football game.

    • It was outdoors until about 20 years ago. Problems: Because of uncertain weather, they always had to set up indoors just in case, incurring double costs. Weather was always a problem — whatever call was made (indoors or outdoors) was always tough. Elderly people had a tough time walking down the stairs, then up into the bleachers. Lots of reasons to go indoors.

  2. John McCarthy

    I believe 1982 was the 1st year graduation was held in the field house. And I think I was one of the graduates although the memory is somewhat hazy.

    • Carey Leonard


      You are correct, fellow graduate! 1982 was I believe the first year in the new fieldhouse. I remember it being very hot in there, and wishing for some a/c.

  3. Carl A. Swanson

    I have attempted to avoid graduations like the plaque in my overzealous attempt to collect degrees but I do remember the ’86 high school graduation at Darien. Rained buckets in the midst of a very boring commencement address (see aforementioned mention of avoidance) and everyone was soaked. A mud fight ensued. It was great!! To me, it beats sitting watching a monitor in a cafeteria or in a jock aromatic fieldhouse.

  4. Richard Lawrence Stein

    To the best of my knowledge.. My class 1986 was the last year for outdoor graduations… They have been indoor ever since….