Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 26
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
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Weather Forecast

Stormy Weather Doesn’t Cloud Princeton High School Graduation

Dilshanie Perera

The air was warm, dry, and festive as the 79th class of Princeton High School graduating seniors filed out of their soon-to-be alma mater clad in royal blue robes and mortarboards.

While the students marched around PHS’s front lawn to the orchestra’s strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” friends and family cheered and took pictures. After the flag salute and national anthem, PHS principal Gary Snyder took note of the darkening sky and paused to inform all those assembled of “Plan C,” or what to do in the event of a deluge. He then introduced Evan Weiss, President of the Class of 2008 and Ari Simon, President of Student Council, who shared the stage to give the Address of Welcome. Mr. Weiss began by citing Thomas Jefferson, saying that “when the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” Praising the class, Mr. Simon bookended the address, noting that each graduate is “leaving PHS with the knowledge of how to govern him or herself.”

Three members of the Class of 2008, John Yi, Savannah Merceus, and Evan Weiss, were selected by fellow students to speak on the topics of achievement, spirit, and the future, respectively. Lauding his class’s “unparalleled fervor and perseverance,” Mr. Yi spoke about the more memorable moments of the past year while noting that “our true achievement lies in what we did to get here.”

As Ms. Merceus mused about the qualities of spirit exhibited by the senior class, the skies grew overcast and gray clouds moved closer to the campus. Ms. Merceus thanked her class, PHS faculty, and parents, and spoke about the ways in which they had demonstrated spirit.

When a bolt of lightning flashed across the sky, Mr. Snyder interrupted her and directed everyone toward the school building to conclude the ceremony indoors. The students and family moved into the gymnasium and family and friends watched a simultaneous broadcast in the auditorium. Ms. Merceus concluded her speech once everyone had settled in the new locations.

Following Mr. Weiss’s address, in which he reflected on robots and how thoroughly the class of 2008 has been prepared to tackle all future challenges, both real and imagined, PHS’s a cappella groups Around 8 and the Cat’s Meow performed Gavin DeGraw’s “Meaning” and the Wailin’ Jennys’ “Long Time Traveller,” respectively.

In presenting the graduating class to the School Board, Principal Snyder elaborated upon its character, thanking the students and faculty. He commended retiring health and physical education teacher Marc Anderson’s commitment to students during his 38 years of service to the high school.

Superintendent Judith Wilson asked the class of 2008 to consider the choices that they make in life, and urged them to awaken each day and “consciously make the choice to be of good heart, and to greet others purposely looking for their goodness.” Ms. Wilson concluded with a benediction: “may these choices fill all the days of your lives with great joy.”

The presentation of diplomas followed Ms. Wilson’s remarks, the Cat’s Meow sang the Alma Mater, the recessional began with the Triumphal March from Verdi’s “Aida,” mortarboards were thrown into the air, and the Princeton High School Class of 2008 celebrated their new status as graduates.

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