Staples celebrated its 128th graduation in fine fashion this afternoon. The weather was (thankfully) cool; the speeches were brief but meaningful — and most importantly, the day was about the 460 graduates. This great class got the sendoff they deserve!
The “Congratulations Class of 2015” sign refers to principal John Dodig too. After 47 years in education, he retires this month. He called himself a proud member of ’15.
Plenty of reading material for early arrivals: the graduation program, and the year-end issue of Inklings.
Hip surgery just a few days ago did not keep Jake Atlas away.
Friends to the end: Sarah Sawyer, Zoe Brown, Sarah Herbsman and Sophia Hampton.
A day after soloing with the choir at baccalaureate, Jack Bowman graduates.
Jim Farnen is the very proud assistant principal for the Class of 2015.
Shift supervisor Tom Cataudo and maintenance head Horace Lewis greet staff and students during the processional.
Valedictorian Everett Sussman earned praise for his insightful — and quick — speech.
Her cap indicates the next stop for Jacqueline Chappo: Boston University.
Good friends Scott Pecoriello and Patrick Beusse are ready to receive their diplomas.
The traditional cap-tossing, in slow motion.
Seniors signed a poster in the courtyard, showing the many places they’ll go next.
Nicole DeBlasi — the 2015 yearbook editor — is a proud graduate…
…and so is wrestler Alexander Baumann.
Eniola “Timmy” Kolade celebrates with family members.
Congratulations, Kristen and Pam Onorato — and everyone else in the Class of 2015!
Meanwhile, here’s a video shown at last night’s baccalaureate ceremony. Directed by Ken Asada, it features many members of Staples’ Class of ’15 — with a couple of cameos by retiring (but not in the active-participant sense of the word) principal John Dodig:
(Click here if your browser does not take you directly to YouTube.)
On Monday, several hundred Staples High School seniors head off on internships. From hedge funds to organic farms, and ad agencies to pre-schools, they’ll spend 4 weeks learning about life in the real (work) world.
A week after that, they graduate.
Principal John Dodig will “graduate” with them, too. But in the last weeks of his 47-year career in education, he instituted a new tradition he hopes will last for decades.
When classes ended today for seniors, administrators invited them to a cookout on the football field. A band played (really well). Seniors ate, played, and hung out together for the last time until prom.
It was a classy end of classes, for a very classy class.
Alexander Baumann (left) and Jack Baylis both contributed to Staples in many ways.
Will Dumke (keyboard), August Densby (drums) and Andrew Puchala (guitar) rocked the house — er, football field.
When Eli Mitchell was in Staples High School last year, he admired John Dodig.
The principal said hello to him every day, asked how he was doing, and made him feel good.
Eli is out of high school now. Dodig retires next month. So, in honor of the principal — and to raise money for a Staples Tuition Grants scholarship in his name — Eli had an idea.
He’s spent the past few months designing his “Fret” (plural: “Fretz”). He patented them as “personal expression banners” — his generation’s replacement for buttons, stickers and patches. Each has a logo or message, and attach easily to anything — backpacks, for instance. You can add them to the strap, like guitar frets.
Eli created a set with the Staples “S,” and the words “Class of 2015.” He asked Dodig to sign some. The principal autographed 100.
Eli hopes to sell them all — to graduates, parents of grads (for gifts), and anyone else. The cost is $10; of that, he’ll donate $7 to the scholarship set up in Dodig’s name. (You can donate more to the fund, of course.)
An autographed “Class of 2015” Fret.
Eli’s business is just getting off the ground. He’s planning to add colleges, sports teams, flags and other designs to his “Fretz.” He hopes this 1st set will become collectibles — and that they’ll add a nice chunk of money to a fund named for Eli’s (and Westport’s) beloved principal.
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