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Waldorf Celebrates 52nd Annual Commencement

Garden City, NY – Wednesday, June 15, 2011 – The Class of 2011 received high school diplomas at Waldorf’s 52nd Annual Commencement Exercises on Friday, June 10th. “This is the largest graduating class in our School’s history,” said High School Chairman Roland Rothenbucher. “Since Waldorf’s first high school graduation in 1960, the School has graduated 961 students and the class of 2011 will bring that number to 990!” The keynote commencement address speaker – chosen by the graduating class – was Trustee and Waldorf alumnus Scott A. Williams ’85.

Senior class co-advisors Jeff Katzman also addressed the graduates as did Deirdre Somers who sang “Some Say Love” by LeAnn Rimes with former choral director Penelope Herdt Grover ’71. Three seniors were also selected by their classmates to speak on behalf of the graduating class: Rangsi Sarnkingthong, Elisabeth Ciaccio and Yarden Carmon.

The class of 2011 has been accepted into 85 colleges and universities. (To view the list of college acceptances, click here.)

What They Said

The full text of remarks delivered by Jeff Katzman, Yarden Carmon, Elisabeth Ciaccio, Rangsi Sarnkingthong and Scott A. Williams are available by clicking on each name. Following are excerpts.

“It has been my job to be your advisor these past four years,” said Senior Class Co-Advisor and Handwork Teacher Jeffrey Katzman. “You have taught me how to fulfill this class-specific vocation and I thank you. It has been an honor. And now it is done. But that does not mean I am no longer an ally or someone you can turn to in days ahead. So when cooler weather returns, please, come and sit with me in Washington Square Park, and drink good coffee and eat dark chocolate, and perhaps we shall discuss matters philosophical, practical and those of the heart. And I am sure we’ll make little sense and solve even less and yet feel better for it still.”

“I knew right from the beginning that this class was a talented class and always strived for worthy goal,” said graduating senior Rangsi Sarnkingthong of Jericho. “I have learned more than I ever thought I would during these four years. After leaving Thailand five years ago, I finally learned to feel at home again …. I am very fortunate to have joined this class. This class has made me who I am today and I am sure all of my classmates share the same sentiment.” In the fall, Rangsi will attend Pace University.

“Our futures are so bright that if we stare straight into them for too long we are left blinded, and for a moment, lost.” said graduating senior Elisabeth Ciaccio of Manhasset. “To find ourselves, we must spend time looking away from the brightness of our futures and in these periods of reflection, we will surely find pride, confidence and peace …. Hold on to what you want, where you’ve been and who you are. Revisit your past often and remain connected with those who knew you when you were young because as you get older, you’ll need old friends to connect you to who you once were.” Elisabeth will be attending the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University in September.

Yarden Carmon of Hempstead, who will be attending Johns Hopkins University in the fall, was the final senior speaker. “I’ve been at Waldorf my whole life. And I have seen first hand the kind of people that come from this school. They are creative, they are kind, they are smart they are compassionate. But above all, they have a perspective on the world that no other school can give you. Waldorf education makes the students more aware, more well-rounded, and thus more innovative. And that is what we need now more than ever.”

“Don’t take your Waldorf education or your relationship to your school and your classmates for granted,” said Trustee and Waldorf alumnus Scott A. Williams ’85. “It can become very easy, particularly when you have spent many years in the same school. Believe me I know, because I made that very mistake. I thought I was done with Waldorf after graduation and was off to bigger and better things. Only to find out that my Waldorf education and the friends that I made in school would time and time again come to my aid as I navigated my way through college and life.”

An accredited member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) and the Association of the Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA), the Waldorf School of Garden City is a 360+ nursery through grade 12 college preparatory day school. From the early exploration and rich play children experience in the early childhood program to the sophisticated conceptual challenges of the high school curriculum, the Waldorf School of Garden City nurtures the healthy and balanced development of the whole human being. The school’s approach to learning encourages academic, intellectual, artistic, moral and social growth and lays the groundwork for a satisfying and creative future. For more information about the Waldorf School of Garden City, please call (516) 742-3434 ext. 129 or email proctorc@waldorfgarden.org.

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