Seven students celebrated their graduation from Gifft Hill School in an intimate ceremony at the Annaberg ruins on Thursday evening, June 14. The class was the smallest to graduate from GHS to date.
Upper school co-founder Scott Crawford, who, along with his wife Sabrina Boebert is moving to North Carolina this summer, was the keynote speaker at the graduates’ request.
“It means a great deal to me that you’d voluntarily subject yourselves to what I have to say,” said Crawford. “I was hoping to get some sage advice from today’s keynote speaker, before I knew it was me.”
Pieces of Advice
Crawford, who said he has not figured out an absolute truth for a happy life, offered the graduates many different pieces of advice.
“Cherish the experience, savor the moment, seize the day,” said Crawford. “Take joy in giving and sharing your talents with others. You don’t really need my advice — you already possess what you need to succeed.”
GHS Different From Teen Movies
“My request is simply this — believe in yourself,” Crawford continued. “You all have what it takes.”
As the sun began to set, valedictorian Moloney took the podium to address his fellow graduates in a speech peppered with humor, which centered on teen movies.
“Teen movies portray high school the same way — with jocks, nerds and cliques,” said Moloney. “Our experience is so different from anything anyone in Hollywood could understand. It’s impossible to have cliques here, because the jocks are the nerds and the class clowns, and yes, freshmen are crammed into lockers, but they’re the guys we hang out with on weekends.”
While the small size of the class prevented cliques from being formed, it allowed a strong bond to form between the seven seniors, Moloney continued.
Next Step as Family
“You could fit our entire senior class in a car, which makes it easy to get around,” said the valedictorian. “The kind of bonds formed between us are unlike anything found in cheesy teen movies. We will all take this next step in our lives together as family.”
Before the students were awarded their diplomas, GHS Student Council Vice President Cassie Pociask presented gifts to the senior class on behalf of the student council.
“I’d like to remind you not to forget our small school and the big fun we had,” she said.
The parents of the class of 2007 then presented Crawford and Boebert with a one-week stay at Caneel Bay Resort in hopes the couple will return to visit.
“Alive With Curiosity”
GHS Headmaster Ben Biddle then presented the graduates with their diplomas, taking the opportunity to comment on each student’s character.
“I have not encountered a more earnest student than Ishkanian Ferdinand,” said Biddle. “Watch-ing him at soccer this past season, he has the most unwillingness to get frustrated.”
“This fine young man is integrity,” Biddle said of Joseph Guasta-ferro. “He is a delightful guy.”
Biddle then spoke of salutatorian Kitchen’s energy as she was presented with her diploma.
“Rachel has this sparkle,” he said. “She is alive with spirit and curiosity.”
“Kendia Louis arrived at Gifft Hill School and never really looked back,” Biddle continued.
“She positively exudes a sense of power.”
Biddle then presented the valedictorian with his diploma.
“Jason looks closely at everything from painting to mechanics,” Biddle said of Moloney. “He is insatiable in his will to see beyond the surface.”
“Emmanuel Christian keeps things moving,” Biddle continued. “He’s a jolly fellow with great wit to boot. He’s blessed with charisma and smarts.”
“Jill Martin has a quiet diligence,” Biddle continued. “She has varied talents on which she can call.”
Class of 2007 Confirmed
Biddle confirmed the class of 2007, and the graduates excited the ceremony while Sage Buchalter sang Green Day’s “Good Riddance.”