Photo by Finnegan Courtney ’23
Graduation is a right of passage. Here at Staples, around 400 seniors will be graduating as part of the Class of 2022 in an outdoor ceremony on Friday, June 16.
“Having it outside is amazing,” Principal Stafford W. Thomas Jr said. “We have a beautiful location and the field house is so dark and dreary. In the two years, we have had it outside – I still haven’t heard anyone asking to put it back in the field house.”
Each family of a graduating senior will receive four tickets, according to Thomas, along with there being unlimited standing room only areas around the field.
All three valedictorians – Natalie Bandura ’22, Zach Bishop ’22 and Julian Weng ’22 – will make appearances at the ceremony, with two giving speeches and Bishop playing a piece, his personal arrangement of Pablo del Sarasate’s Adios Montaña Mias.
“I wanted to play one because I think it’s a better way to express my feelings about graduating,” Bishop said, “and I think the audience would be tired of speeches after three of them.”
For many seniors, the past four years have been far from the normal experience of high school due to a global pandemic, distance learning and many other factors. However, many feel gratitude for their time at Staples and are excited for what’s to come.
“I’m really relieved to be graduating and moving forward in my life,” Izzy Rudas ’22 said. “My experience at Staples has been interesting for sure, but I think that the bumps in the road, so to speak, helped me develop my character and my values as my own person.”
With these past years being far from normal, Thomas has high praise for all members of this year’s graduating class.
“This class is an inspirational and amazing group,” Thomas said. “The past three years have been so strange and difficult and they still managed to thrive and enjoy the experience at Staples.”