On Saturday, June 9, 2018, thirteen 8th graders arrived at Dutchess Day School (DDS) for their final command performance: graduation. Dressed in traditional white dresses and blue blazers, the following students filed into the Bontecou Courtyard: Minali Abraham-Aggarwal, Lauren Ben-Ezra, Jacob Buch, Grace Macedonia, Jack Meagher, Ryan Mohyeddin, Sofie Morton, Patrick Murphy, Kiran Nandigama, Olivia Selby, Stella Slade, Emma Stalteri, and Jaylen Thatcher. Students, faculty, staff, and parents gathered under the white tent to honor the school’s 59th graduating class.
Young graduates (left to right): Grace Macedonia, Stella Slade, Sofie Morton, Lauren Ben-Ezra, Olivia Selby, Emma Stalteri, Minali Abraham-Aggarwal, Patrick Murphy, Jaylen Thatcher, Jack Meagher, Ryan Mohyeddin, Kiran Nandigama, and Jacob Buch.
Dutchess Day’s new Head of School, Matthew Heard, welcomed everyone in his opening comments and addressed the graduating class. Next, board president, Douglas Dundas, made a statement in which he welcomed the class of 2018 to the ranks of alumni/ae.
According to DDS tradition, a member of the graduating class addressed the assembled guests. Grace Macedonia, a Stanfordville resident, spoke with great charm and humor about her class and their years of special memories at the school. She concluded by remarking on the legacy of the school and its impact on everyone in her class. “As individuals, we may have different passions and interests, but Dutchess Day School helped us pursue those passions. The environment here has taught us to do our best and try our hardest. Importantly, it’s also a wonderfully caring and supportive school, and that’s because of the people who fill it.”
This year the graduating students asked Mrs. Charlessa Thatcher to give the commencement address. Mrs. Thatcher is a DDS teacher and parent. Her daughter graduated in 2013, and her son, Jaylen, is in the class of 2018. Mrs. Thatcher has taught preschool and now teaches music, movement, and theater, and heads up the school’s performing arts program. Mrs. Thatcher’s address outlined a theatrical production of her own invention, based on the lives and personalities of the students in the graduating class. Her talk was full of humor, wisdom, and love. By featuring some of the memories she has of the group, she pointed out the remarkable qualities of each of the thirteen members of the graduating class.
All three school choruses performed for the assembled guests, and the 8th graders rose, after receiving their diplomas, to sing their chosen final song, “One Call Away” by Charlie Puth. The song’s sentiments of eternal friendship and loyalty suit this class that has forged strong bonds while attending Dutchess Day School.
Dutchess Day School is located at 415 Route 343 in Millbrook, NY. For more information, visit DutchessDay.org online.