Seniors say bittersweet good bye

May 27, 2010 — by David Eng and Emily Williams

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It’s almost that time of year again: summer vacation. But for the class of 2010, the month of June brings with it more than just waning days of a concluding school year.

Parting words

Graduation is around the corner and the ceremony is all in order. According to assistant principal Karen Hyde, the ceremony will be very similar to ones held in previous years.

“Nothing new under the sun,” said Hyde. “But let’s hope it’s sunny. It’s going to be nice; it’s not going to rain.”

Graduation proceedings start at 3 p.m. on June 10 and include several student-delivered speeches.

“The requirement to speak [does not include being] the best speaker,” said Hyde. “We want diversity and a meaningful message from the class.”

But perhaps the most emotional and satisfying moment for many seniors will be receiving their high school diplomas, a document that signifies a bittersweet end of a chapter in their lives.

“It’s not going to hit me that I’m done with school as I know it forever,” said senior Nihal Ruparel, who will be attending University of Washington-Seattle in the fall. “But after a day or two, I guess it’ll be bittersweet. I’ll truly miss the best parts about high school, but I’m really looking forward to the college experience.”

The Last Hurrah

After the ceremony, students will celebrate at the parent-sponsored Grad Night from 9 p.m. June 11 to 5 the following morning. Although the theme is a surprise until the actual event, parent coordinator Maya Baba said the night would be filled with games, Karaoke, a DJ, food and the Senior Video.

This year’s organizers, Baba, Carolyn Doles, Elaine McInnis and Pragati Grover, have been planning this special night since May of last year and have been meeting monthly since October in preparation for the event. They have made it their goal to get every student to attend; so far there is about 80 percent attendance.

“It’s an event that we hope that all the seniors will attend as their final party together,” said Baba. “I think the students really like it because it’s a kind of nostalgic evening; it really gives them some type of closure of their high school career.”

A class to remember

Even after seniors graduate on June 11, they will leave behind many deep impressions and keep countless high school memories.

“They care deeply, they are high motivated, they’re very determined, they work hard and they are very goal oriented,” said Hyde of the senior class. “They’re like Alice in Wonderland. They just know where they’re going.”

Senior Karen Wai said experiences in high school have prepared her for later in life.

“Academically, Saratoga has prepared me really well, but high school has also prepared me really well socially with meeting so many awesome people,” said Wai, who will be attending Dartmouth University next year.

The praise for this year’s graduating class does not end there.

“The thing that’s great about Saratoga is there’s not been any graduation class I would characterize anything but positive, full of a lot of positive people,” said principal Jeff Anderson, who met many of this year’s seniors at last year’s inauguration field trip to Washington, D.C. “This class isn’t any different.”

Hyde also stressed the unique qualities of this year’s seniors.

“It’s a unique class in many ways. They have many different elements; I can’t say that everyone is really passionate and I can’t say they are all diverse, but I can say they embrace each other like a coat of many colors,” said Hyde.

“They’re a class with a heart. When [Hurricane] Katrina came, they ran book drives. They collected money in classes for Haiti,” said Hyde.

Hyde also highlighted the raucous basketball game versus Lynbrook, the senior-produced talent show and the colorful prom as defining events that will always remind her of the class of 2010.

“When they decide they want to, they can do it,” said Hyde.

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