Scenes From A Graduation

The Staples High School Class of 2012 graduated yesterday.

The weather was not too hot — but the smiles were warm.

The speeches were not too long — but the memories will linger.

Congratulations to 424 wonderful young men and women!

Sophomore Kelsey Shockey handles one of the many cameras for the Staples Television Network’s live broadcast of graduation 2012.

Valedictorian Matt Silver (left) and salutatorian Carolyn Chen (right) prepare to lead their class into the fieldhouse.

Ethan Goff makes some last-minute adjustments before graduation.

Who cares what shoes the choir wears? (Seniors are in caps and gowns; juniors sport the traditional blue robes.)

All semester long, seniors have been filling a poster with their colleges or other post-graduation plans.

Graduation is a family affair. Twins Jessie and Katie Ambrose flank older brother Jack, who did it all 2 years ago.

Samantha Hodgson with one of her favorite staff members, Deb Gallon.

Stephan Patterson poses proudly with family members…

…while friends and other family members jostle for the best photos of Stephan.

Danny Pravder with the reward for 4 years of hard work: a Staples High School diploma.

Beck Lewis and Matthew Epstein are rising 5th graders at Green’s Farms School. With their mortarboard and scarf, they get a jump on their own Staples graduation — in 2020.

20 responses to “Scenes From A Graduation

  1. A quick comparison of the Inklings 2012 senior college list shows that far fewer students will be attending elite schools when compared to their list for the class of 2011. There are many factors that can affect these numbers (cohort academic strength, personal choice, economics) but such a dip should be addressed by SHS. Perhaps many kids who were accepted to the most competitive schools chose not to go.

    • Here is the list. Very impressive for breadth and depth. In my opinion — from knowing many of these graduates, and seeing them day after day — they are doing VERY impressive things, and will continue to grow even more in the future. They will make us extremely proud.

    • John Karrel

      Gosh, Mr./Ms. datadriven,
      Personally, I was impressed with the breadth & depth of the list.
      I guess – – to paraphrase a former boss of mine – – it it’s not all Harvard, Wharton & Oxford, it’s just chopped liver, yes? ; )

    • @datadriven. who cares? is what college you attend the only measure of success? why should this be addressed by shs? i know plenty of people that have no college education and have done quite nicely for themselves.

    • Virginia Gilbertie

      As a parent of one of the class of ’12, I can say from first-hand experience that the environment at SHS is focused on individual achievement in whatever area is fulfilling and meaningful to the student. Any concern about attending an elite college should be confined to private family discussions. There is already enough pressure and competitiveness inherent in the Westport culture to drive our young people crazy, no need for the administration to add to it.

      Congratulations to a hard-working and unique group of young people! I’ve heard from more than one staff member that they’ll miss the class of 2012, who were some of the nicest and most caring students they’ve had in years. All the best to you!

    • John McCarthy

      If you are really Data Driven, you would have tested your initial “quick comparison” with an in depth statistical analysis before posting…..

  2. Why should it be addressed? There’s a school for everyone, just because it says it’s elite and expensive doesn’t mean it’s the right one for the kid!

  3. Re datadriven’s observation. The anecdotal evidence gleaned from my daughters’ post-’08 high school graduating classes at their NYC high schools reveals that students now routinely pass on acceptances from Penn, Johns Hopkins, Smith, etc. and opt instead to attend, say, SUNY/Albany or New Paltz, for example. Reason: money. They want the recognition of their achievement that acceptances from elite schools provide but they readily accept the reality of their families’ circumstances. Good for them. In decades past Kissinger, Moynihan, Powell and many other future luminaries chose CCNY for the same reason. Their lives weren’t ruined.

  4. Nice photos, Dan. You’re giving me a run for the money.

  5. Westport Convert

    Congrats to all. It was a wonderful event.

  6. Looks like a festive event and congrats to all. Our graduation in ’66 was held outside on the football field. Unfortunately, I recall little of it. The cause of my memory loss was the Miller Brewing Company. Hopefully, these grads had more sense than I had at their age.

  7. Kirsten Woods

    Awesome! Quick count has all the Ivy’s represented-Fab! What I found interesting is Wake Forest has 8 (est.) grads attending 2nd only to University of CT. I guess that’s the popular school now. Hats off to the Class of 2012!

    • According to the article in Inklings, UMichigan has 15 attendees which puts it in second. Boston University comes in third with 9 students choosing to attend. Not that it matters because they are all fabulous schools. Congrats to all my peers!

      • Kirsten Woods

        Clearly I did not read the article, just checked the names and schools- Wow on UMichigan and yes congrats to you ALL!

  8. Jim Honeycutt

    I have to tell you that this was the first year I can remember noting a number of my Staples students who told me that they might not attend private colleges and universities for the simple reason of high tuition costs. Thank you Tom Allen for commenting on the anonymous datadriven’s point. From the point of view of one Staples faculty member, Staples graduates reflect and honor their families; I think they have done amazingly well. These graduates show a wide ranges interests and so many of them will attend a wide range of schools. Maybe datadriven should up update his or her data…whoever he or she may be.

  9. Kirsten, for whatever reason, Wake has been gaining in popularity at Staples since the mid-1960s when the football program there — Wake is in the ACC — netted a slew of Staples football players. It would be interesting to know what the attraction is now. Jim, it’s been an eye-opener witnessing the grace with which smart kids who only a few years ago would have been locks for the Ivies, etc. have absorbed the new financial realities of higher education. Hats off to them. They’ll do well wherever they go and in whatever profession they choose.

  10. John McManus

    You can’t beat the financial aid packages given by the Ives today. Ivied are more affordable than ever.

  11. Fred Cantor

    Congrats to all of the grads. And, Tom Allen, if it will make you feel any better, I don’t remember much about our graduation in 1971 out on the football field–and I was not drinking beer then (or at any point in my life, for that matter). I do know from some photos I saw recently that someone had the wisdom to choose white graduation caps & gowns for our class.

  12. Sarah Bernkweef

    I see many people claiming that you have to go to a high level college, and in my estimation, I say, CAN’T IT! Everyone has different choices and if I look at it, I see my dad’s niece, who went to Princetown University and now is shamefully homeless. Meaningly, my other dad knew someone from Oakland who forgot to go to college, and now, hold on, works for Microsystems, which means, that anyone can go to it, with and/or without college.