July 2018

Brilliant Sunshine Signals 2018 Commencement

By Stephen E. Lipken


A brilliant, sunny day set the scene for the 96th Bronxville High School (BHS) Annual Commencement on Saturday, June 16, 2018.  Reformed Church of Bronxville bells tolled, signaling beginning of the Ceremony.


Co-Class President Andrew Cargill had fellow grads and families laughing and then got a bit more serious by adding, “They say it’s not about the destination, but rather the journey.  And if there’s anything I learned through this four-year journey, it’s that we hold the potential to leave a lasting imprint on earth, and I have no doubt in my mind that we will do so.


As classical poet and word-smith Drake so elegantly put it: You only live once. So, class, make it count.  No matter where life takes you, strive to be the best version of yourself. Fly through the turbulence, believe in yourself and great things will come.

Be phenomenal and congratulations to the class of 2018.”


“We have been extremely tough these past four years-high school is no joke.  Academics are hard, people can be mean, and everyone has disappointments. But we’re here now.  Do not forget what you overcame to sit here today.


Our next challenge will be the same-college will have highs and lows, and it might not be the best four years of your life.  Or, it could be.  Just recognize that anticipation of perfection can dull reality.  We are smart, and capable, and willing to learn.  That all but guarantees a positive outcome,” shared Co-President Caroline Kirby in her speech.


Student Faculty Legislature President Griffin Garbarini recounted the legend of Fiji Islander Mafatu who set out on his own, creating a new community only to return to his home to share of his accomplishments. “. . . In the past four years that community has expanded to flying 36 hours to Tanzania with Mimi and Laura to build an orphanage for young girls, and to building schools in Nicaragua with Justin. This thing, this bond, that we have created over the past 13 years has become so much more impactful than maybe most of us realize.”


“. . . One day, like Mafutu, the Bronxville Class of 2018 will return to this town and show our friends and family that we not only created a place for ourselves out there, but that we impacted others in a meaningful way. We are all “Mafutu” and because we have our community, we are more prepared than we know to one day return and prove to the village elders that you we created a place for yourself beyond that mysterious horizon.”


“Start expecting to be surprised, to be thrown off guard, even to be a little scared.  EMBRACE SURPRISE…Put yourself in the way of different people, situations and ideas...Don’t be satisfied sticking with what’s easy…The best way not to be a victim of change is to be the changer-try hard to be the SURPRISE-ER rather than the SURPRISE-EE,” parent speaker Larry Bettino stated.


Department Achievement Awards for Excellence included Pilar Layton, English; Leo Gretzinger, Mathematics; Caroline Kirby, Social Studies; Isabela Lamadrid, Science; Layton, Spanish; William Ramundo, French; Gretzinger, Latin; Overall Academic Excellence, Allison Barker.


Bronxville Teachers Association presented a scholarship to Sophia Feinberg for her winning essay, “Why Teach?”


Gwinn Arts Awards for Excellence encompassed Eva Cagliostro, Instrumental Music/Orchestra; YiFei Wu, Band; Kaitlyn Shinsato, Fine Arts; Margaux Frohlich, Vocal, and Barker, Drama.  The David Quattrone Award for Engaged Citizenship went to Chloe Paris.



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