By Stephen E. Lipken
A recurring theme of the Thursday, June 21 New Rochelle High School Class of 2018 Graduation, fielding 670 students appeared to be a tremendous amount of courage in face of a year of adversity.
“This has been a year of great accomplishments and also of difficult challenges, sometimes sadness…for our schools, for our community, for each of you,” Mayor Noam Bramson stated.
“But I want you to know that I have never been prouder of the students of NRHS for always representing what is best about our city.
“You come from traditions, hold different beliefs, aiming for different goals and destinations, yet you are bound together as one class, united in love and support for each other…”
“A speech about New Rochelle would be incomplete if it did not include the word ‘diversity…’
But this diversity goes way beyond the color of your skin. Our school is filled with people of all gender identities and sexual orientations, people with differing political views and people who practice various religions,” Salutatorian Randall St. Louis noted. “Here you don’t have to be friends with people who look just like you.”
Valedictorian Elijah Pomerantz said, “Through our high school education, we have sought our individual paths to discover the ‘comprehensibility’ of the world…Life is short, yet complex…
Albert Einstein once wrote: ‘The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility…The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle...’”
“This class has kindness. Kindness to organize tributes for fallen classmates…,” Board of Education Vice President Jeffrey Hastie observed. “This class has experienced more in one year than most experience in a lifetime…but it was your kindness toward one another that got you through…”
Class President Ever Maat-Mack challenged her classmates to think about “privilege and perspective. If you can’t understand where others are coming from, you can’t empathize...”
“May you…bring all your joy, creativity and compassion to lead us to a better tomorrow,” Superintendent Brian G. Osborne, Ed.D. concluded.