Congratulations to the Class of 2019
On Friday, June 14, twenty-eight students graduated from The Summit School. We are delighted to present some of our graduation ceremony highlights and a roundup of senior events. 
Graduation Day started like any other school day with seniors arriving at The Summit School by 8:45 a.m. via school bus or public transportation, but that's where the similarity ended. Instead of attending a first period class, a number of special events began to unfold. We extend our thanks to our senior class event coordinators for their dedication and support, and to all the countless Summit staff members, who make all of these events possible:
Yearbook: Michael Alexander, Carol Falco, and Karen Kenis

Graduation Package, Portraits, and Class Rings: Diane Brevetti

Prom, Senior Class Trip, and Graduation Breakfast: Liz Cassese, George Garrison, Linda Hyman, and Tobi Thompson

Senior Videos and Presentation: Cindy Berkiw and Gregory Broas  
Graduation Day Breakfast, Special Moments & Getting Ready 
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Thanks to George Garrison, Liz Cassese, Tobi Thompson, Fran Antignani, and Linda Hyman, it was also one of the most memorable. This year's seniors participated in enjoying this longtime Summit tradition of coming together for one more meal as classmates. Next, it was time to start getting ready with caps and gowns, sharing a few more special moments with Summit staff and friends, and posing for graduation day photos.  
Graduation Ceremony
Summit's graduation processional was led by our Color Guard (photo above, left to right) -- Isaiah Bracero, Nicholas Mascialino, Andy Pichirallo, Julian Gonzalez, Alec Solomon, Theo Shapiro, and Jasir Abdulla-Musa -- who carried and presented the U.S. flag and opened our ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance. Richard Sitman , Summit's Executive Director (photo below, left), initiated commencement by welcoming over 300 parents, family members, and friends, and introducing this year's senior videos.
Making this year's parent presentation was Eric Landau (photo above, right, with daughter Candace), who provided a personal perspective of his family's time at Summit and extended the heartfelt sentiments to other parents and guests: "We are so proud to be here congratulating our daughter Candace and the rest of the exceptional graduates of The Summit School's Class of 2019. We are so lucky that we were able to find this school in Jamaica Estates, and we are forever grateful for the kindness, care, respect and nurturing that is seemingly everywhere within these walls.
To the faculty and staff, thank you.
To the graduating class, congratulations on your achievements.
And to our fellow parents of these graduates, I am certain that you are filled with the pride that is brimming from Esther and me as we think about the wonderful young adults we are now sending out into the world -- with confidence, education and temperament that will allow them to reach whatever potential they each strive for."
Photo above (left to right): Sean Gilmore, Valedictorian, and Sam Gothelf, Salutatorian, Class of 2019.
Next, the podium was turned over to our Salutatorian, Sam Gothelf , whose remarks touched on the camaraderie that makes Summit such a special place.
Summit's 2019 Valedictorian, Sean Gilmore , followed and reminisced about a time not so long ago when the members of the Class of 2019 were just freshmen, " fighting with the locks on our lockers, trying to figure out where our next class was, all while looking cluelessly at the seniors, who seemed to have had it all together." He went on to say, "Now, we are those seniors; we got it together and stand before you today, ready to graduate and move forward in the world."

Sean and Sam also thanked everyone that played an important role in the success of this graduating class. 
Numerous honors were bestowed upon students by Summit faculty. At Summit, we are pleased to have the ability to present our deserving seniors funded scholarships and awards of meaningful recognition.
J.B. Hehman Memorial Scholarship  presented by Cindy Berkiw, Teacher,
to  Kayla Casey-Lee
Michael Herold Memorial Scholarship  presented by Yvonne Bowman, 
Guidance Counselor to  Sean Gilmore
Emily Seltzer Memorial Scholarship  presented by Marian Corbett, Director of Work-Based Learning Programs, to  Robert Olsen
John Renner Commitment to Excellence Scholarship  presented 
by Nancy Morgenroth, Director of Admissions & Speech and Language Services,
to  Katie Goldblatt

NYS Governor's Award  presented by Tara Caprdja, Assistant Director of Work-Based Learning Programs, to  Sam Gothelf
Presidential Achievement Award  presented by Larry Kurtzman, Teacher,
to  C.J. Claffey, Samuel Forster, Theo Shapiro, Dante Scarlatto, and Andy Pichirallo
Presidential Excellence Award  presented by Georgia Gretchyn, Teacher, to  Maximillian Blodgett, Raphael Brown, Samuel Gothelf, Sean Gilmore, Katie Goldblatt, Candace Landau, Ben Rabinowitz, Trevor Scott, and Michael Vardanian

NYS Assembly Award (issued by Assemblyman David I. Weprin) presented
by Matthew Looks, Teacher, to Jasir Abdullah-Musa, Isaiah Bracero, Noah Cataldo, Sophia Donadeo, Sebastian Galvez-Marin, Julian Gonzalez, Philip Hanhurst, Jake Levine, Nicholas Mascialino, Ethan Schoenberg, and Alec Solomon
Before diplomas were conferred, Allison Edwards , Upper School Principal (photo below, left), presented her tribute to the graduating class, focusing on family -- what she described as the word that comes immediately to mind to exemplify the Class of 2019.

"You have grown up together, many of you being together since your years at Summit's Lower School. You are like one big (most of the time happy) family! Being part of a family means supporting each other through struggles, and being there to acknowledge even the smallest of accomplishments. This small group of students does that for each other." A s students venture out independently into the world away from their own families and their Summit family, s he offered the following advice: "Advocate for yourselves. Continue to stay connected and support each other. Embrace your strengths and acknowledge your struggles. Set attainable goals, and always remember you can come home to Summit whenever you need to!

Ms. Edwards also extended thanks on behalf of Summit to Tom and Annie Goldblatt (parents of Katie Goldblatt), who served as this year's Senior Class Gift Fund Leaders and coordinated this longtime philanthropic tradition. This year's gift was designated to improve the physical structure of our classrooms with LED lighting and system control upgrades. [Update: Thanks to the generosity of our graduating parents, the modernization will be completed at the end of the summer recess.]
Now, the most important moment of our ceremony had arrived: conferring Summit's Certificates of Completion and receiving high school diplomas. Calling each graduate to the dais was Elizabeth Breland , Teacher, Nancy Morgenroth , and Allison Edwards.
Before the recessional, two more "graduates" were called to the dais by Sherri Bordoff , Director of Summit's Upper School Clinic. Traditionally worn to recognize academic or personal achievements, graduation honor cords were presented to our special graduates to commemorate their career and service achievements. First, Sandy Lorenzo , Upper School social worker (photo above, center), who retired at the end of the 2018-19 school year after twelve years of service to Summit, was called to the dais. Michael Vardanian , who talked about his time with Ms. Lorenzo, presented her with a service certificate and turquoise and sky blue honor cords, representing the colors of social work and education, respectively. Next, Kayla Casey-Lee helped to recognize Marian Corbett , Summit's Director of Work-Based Learning Programs (photo above, right), who also retired at the end of the 2018-19 school year. Ms. Corbett was presented her braided purple/white and sky blue honor cords, representing the colors of career and technical education and education, respectively, and a framed certificate to commemorate her nine years of service and excellence.
Following the presentation of senior videos, awards, scholarships, and diplomas,  
graduates received a well-deserved standing ovation from their families and friends. Declaring the Class of 2019 graduated, Myra Rubin asked students to move their tassels from right to left. Congratulations, Summit graduates!
Class of 2019 Ring Ceremony
Seniors who ordered class rings received them at a ring ceremony on May 15. Rings were presented by Diane Brevetti of Summit's Transition Team. As each student was called, Diane presented an individualized class ring, turned it three times to the right for good luck, and once to the left "to lock it in place" as is Summit's ring-turning tradition. Students personalized their class ring to feature their specific interests, including a center set stone and seal.

Also in attendance to help students celebrate were Yvonne Bowman, Marian Corbett, Allison Edwards, Nancy Morgenroth, Tina Rosenbaum, Richard Sitman as well as several teachers and clinical staff.
Senior Class Trip to Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
Graduating seniors made an early morning departure on June 4 and headed out for Summit's annual overnight senior class trip to the Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in upstate New York. From horseback riding to rock climbing, to kayaking, to paddle-boating on the resort's mountain lake, and to roasting marshmallows around the campfire, everyone came home with great memories of fun and friends.

Photography by Summit Upper School teacher Linda Hyman.
Summit's Prom
Prom, one of the seminal events of a teen's high school experience, is one of the last big hurrahs before graduation -- and what a hurrah it was on May 23 when juniors and seniors arrived to attend Summit's Prom held at Douglaston Manor. 
The dresses, the tuxedos and suits, the hair, the limos, the friends, the dates, the photos, and the party, all made it a spectacular evening of music, dining, dancing, and good fun. Here's our night in photos thanks to our roving photographers Summit staff members Zachary Breland, Caterina Mercado, and Tobi Thompson.
What's Next? 

At Summit, our philosophy is not about just finding yourself, it's about becoming yourself -- developing an understanding of who you are and also about respecting and supporting others around you. 
Summit has always celebrated its students' individuality, and the declared majors of the Class of 2019 underscore the wonderfully wide range of interests and pursuits of our graduating students:  animal science, automotive technology, biology, computer science, computer technology, creative writing, game design, health informatics, health information technology, media and communications, music technology, musical theatre, tourism and hospitality, visual and performing arts, vocational training, and
welding. This year's graduating class was awarded a combined total of over $396,000 in various merit-based institutional scholarships. 
Congratulations to our graduates as your new journey begins at the following postsecondary programs. Remember our doors are always open to you, and we hope you'll visit often. 
Adelphi University, NY  
Catholic University of America, DC  
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College, NY  
CUNY Bronx Community College, NY  
CUNY Kingsborough Community College, NY
CUNY LaGuardia Community College, NY  
CUNY New York City College of Technology, NY  
CUNY Queens Honors College, NY
CUNY Queensborough Community College, NY
Dynamy Internship Year, MA  
Ithaca College, NY  
LIU Post, NY
New York University Gallatin School, NY
Oberlin College, OH  
St. John’s University, NY
SUNY Cobleskill, NY  
SUNY New Paltz, NY 
SUNY Oneonta, NY
SUNY Purchase College, NY 
Temple University, PA 
Thames Academy, CT
Vocational Training / ACCES-VR
Nothing is impossible,
the word itself says "I'm Possible!"
Audrey Hepburn
The Class of 2019 has left the building.

Summit Graduation
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