On Saturday, May 19, 2018, our graduates of over 200 students turned their tassels to become EF Academy alumni, ready to take on the next chapter of their lives.
The morning began with school bus rides full of graduates heading to nearby Tarrytown. The cool drizzle created an almost magical ambiance as students prepared for the pomp and circumstance that would soon commence.
Surrounded by proud families, teachers, and friends, our graduates proceeded through the auditorium, ready to celebrate all of the great achievements of the year. Hailing from Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Norway, Spain, South Korea, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam, our senior class is a richly diverse one. They will move on to gap years and internships and universities such as New York University and the University of California.
George Stewart, Head of School, opened the ceremony with a welcome to all and advice to the class of 2018. “I ask you all to show up for each other, for your communities, for your challenges, for your families, for your mom, for your dad, brother and sisters, for your friends, and even, for one more…homework assignment… because I’m convinced that just showing up is probably more than 75% of what it takes to successfully meet new challenges,” said Stewart.
This year’s commencement speaker was DeeDee Trotter, former NCAA national champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Trotter had the following advice for the graduates, “Before you start this new chapter in your life, take the opportunity to look back – remember your most challenging times, then remember the people who helped you get through those times. Take the opportunity to humbly thank them for all they’ve done to get you to where you are. And then vow in sometime in your life you will give the same gift to someone else.”
Shih Chien Huang, Taiwan, delivered this year’s valedictorian address, “Bravery cannot be taught from a single lesson, but rather, bravery comes from trying.”
Teachers then presented graduate awards and diplomas as the ceremony came to a close. But, not before one last hurrah where the students turned their tassels and threw their caps into the air in true tradition.
A reception followed the ceremony, where students, families, teachers and friends enjoyed one last moment together. The event also featured a musical performance by a band of talented seniors.
It was a bittersweet day full of pride, happiness and a sense of accomplishment. But also, one of nostalgia, nervousness and excitement for the future. We look forward to watching our Class of 2018 go forth to continue their life journeys, build bright futures and remain connected to their EF Academy peers and the experience they’ve shared together.