Jun 15, 2012
DRS Says Goodbye to Seniors of 2012
By Natalia Kozikowska
Proud parents, teachers and faculty gathered this Monday to bid farewell to their 83 graduating seniors at Woodmere’s Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys. Former principal Harvey Feldman says that this group is one of the finest group of boys that have ever graduated from any Yeshiva High School. “I’m proud to have been their principal for the past three years,” he says. “Each one of them is willing to do chessed work [good deeds] and charity. They’re respectful and they’re here to help one another and the staff here.”
The beautiful ceremony was held in the school’s auditorium on Monday, June 4. Hundreds gathered to watch the boys walk across the stage and receive their diplomas that would mark the end of an era. The closeness between the boys was obvious as they all hurdled together to take pictures, no boy to be left out. The salutatorian, Elisha Ishaal, even said that if he had been asked to deliver the salutatorian address three years ago he might not have the confidence to do so but the relationships he built with his classmates has made him feel comfortable enough to speak at the graduation.
Dani Schienman says that DRS may have helped him grow in his studies but he also developed relationships with all the his peers, teachers and rabbis. “I was able to create relationships that will last for a long time and it prepared me for my future. I really loved it. It was an amazing four years” he says. What will Schienman miss the most? “The group of guys that go here. I’ve made a lot of friends and we got very close over four years.”
Efrem Rosenberg, Gilad Rosenberg, Mimi Thurm, Myron Thurm & Anna Thurm
Daniel Zylberberg says that his fondest memories at this high school are just hanging with the guys.“I’ve just built such good relationships with everyone. He says that he will miss DRS terribly. “Just coming to school. I enjoyed waking up every morning to see all my friends.”
The faculty at DRS was very proud of the 2012 graduating class. Mark Levy, a science teacher has been at the school for 41 years and says that he is particularly fond of this group. “I’ve known them for three years and they really are a special bunch of boys. I’m going to miss them terribly” he says. “They’re very personable. They look after teachers, not just teachers looking after them.”
Parents were thrilled to see their sons graduate from DRS. Rissa Pollack, mother of graduating senior Kobi Pollack says that DRS is special to her son. “There’s a sense of pride in belonging to this school. It’s very special – the teachers, the rabbis, they are all very unique and they form a very special bond with the boys.”
Proud grandparent Daniel Mehlman was spotted in the front row cheering on Yonaton Mehlman who attained the highest honor at the school– valedictorian. “He’s kind, he’s good, and it gives me a great sense of pride that my grandson reached that pedestal in life” he says.
As the ceremony came to a close Rabbi Eli Brazil asked the seniors to face their families and give them a round of
applause for all their support in their years at Davis Renov Stahler. Before the rabbi could finish his statement the boys had already begun to clap. After giving recognition to the people who have inspired them most in their lives the boys tossed up their green graduation caps as a symbol for change and new beginnings.
16th Senior Class Graduates SKA
By Amanda Mayo
“We should always remember, no matter what other pursuits we follow that our lives should be about helping our brothers and sisters and doing our share to sustain Israel,” salutatorian Malka Katz said in her speech during the Stella K. Abraham School for Girls graduation ceremony on Sunday. The ceremony was marked by a class of graduating seniors who have done so much throughout their four years at the school. The ceremony was held in the gym of the Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys in Woodmere.
Mrs. Helen Spirn, principal of SKA, said she was honored to award the 75 new diplomas at the graduation. “You are all individuals who need to hear your own trumpet sound,” she said to the girls. “Remember, each of you has your own trajectory, your own unique chemistry, your own mission, your own talents. Each of you is your own person,” she said.
Spirn went on to talk about the school’s senior night, where each girl was spoken about, focusing on their own unique traits. This is the 16th graduating class that has been educated through SKA. Spirn spoke about the remarkable accomplishments of their graduating class, including putting together certain programs like the school’s Traditions program.
“It is your grade that provided leadership for almost every program we run at SKA,” she said. She called their work-study internship program one of the most successful ever. “We are so proud of who you are and what you have become,” she said.
Ariela Bortz, of Woodmere, with her family at her graduation from SKA. Photo by Amanda Mayo.
“We learned that ordinary people can do extraordinary things,” Ahava Muskat, valedictorian for the class of 2012, said
during her valedictory address. “A good friend is someone who inspires us,” she said of her fellow graduates. “Each and every one of you has been so inspiring and phenomenal.”
As diplomas were awarded, one by one, the class of 2012 clapped loudly in congratulatory excitement. Ayelet Stern, of Lawrence said she was so excited about graduation and growing up. Sarah Katz, also of Lawrence, said the ceremony really was sentimental. “It put everything together,” she said.
Jay Rubin, whose daughter was in the graduating class, said he thought the ceremony was amazing. “There was such happiness in seeing how my daughter grew throughout the years at SKA,” he said.
Many of SKA’s graduating seniors will be attending school in Israel in the fall before coming back to the United States to attend American universities. The girls were accepted to many prestigious schools including Stern College, Adelphi University, Queens College, the University of Maryland, the University of Chicago, Long Island University, New York University and Brandeis University.
LWA Grads Bid Adieu to School
By Deanna Delciello
Seniors at Lawrence Woodmere Academy celebrated their graduation last Friday, June 8 in the school’s auditorium. The two hour ceremony showcased the students in Senior Performances and featured speeches from Valedictorian Dylan Phelan, Salutatorian Justin Greene and some faculty.
The 30 graduates composed themselves on the auditorium’s stage, decked out in blue caps and gowns while listening to comforting remarks and words of advice from a range of adults and themselves.
Headmaster Alan Bernstein encouraged students in his opening remarks to “think beyond the mundane” and to “make connections often and with passion, the world will be better for it.”
Following Headmaster Bernstein was Peter Boneparth, president of the Board of Trustees, who told students to “go for it, you are equipped to go for it.”
Commencement speaker Robin Wagner, figure skating coach for Olympians Sarah Hughes and Sasha Cohen, graduated from LWA in 1975. To the students she said, “trust your instincts, take a breath, don’t rush and take your time. You are going to be fine and even better than that, you are going to excel.”
Valedictorian Dylan Phelan described leaving LWA as “breathtaking.” “I’ve built personal relationships and lifelong friends. Leaving it behind is a bit nerve-wracking but exciting. The school has equipped us with experience needed to prosper in a world as diverse as ours.” In his speech, Phelan inspired his fellow graduates to “work to improve not only your state of living but the state of living of all those around you.”
For new graduate Melissa Ellowitz, LWA has been a “second home and family for the past six years.” It is with this family that the students from LWA “can be confident that we’ll never be truly lost.”
Melody Pierre-Gilles had “feelings of melancholy and nostalgia” during the graduation ceremony. LWA was an “unforgettable journey” where she “learned many life lessons that cannot be found in a book.”
Parents were also feeling a wide range of emotions on LWA’s graduation day.
“It’s a feeling of peacefulness, Abbie Kugler of Hewlett said about her daughter Andie’s graduation. “You know you gave them a very good foundation. This is the next stage. You need to trust in their abilities.”
For Raeshon Parrish of Queens, her son Trent’s graduation was “just wonderful.” LWA was a “great experience and great school.”
Headmaster Bernstein reminded the students to “take good care, be safe and stay in touch” before they tossed their blue graduation caps into the sky while standing on the steps just outside of the auditorium, never to return as a student of the academy again.
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