LYNDONVILLE — The Riverside School welcomed students, parents, alumni, trustees, and friends to the 2019 Commencement held June 8 for 12 eighth-grade students. Commencement at Riverside serves as an official school day and every student in grades Pre-K through eighth grade participate in the ceremony.
The celebration started with the processional for graduates: Isaiah Oak Mann Clarke, Alexa Iris Counter, Jasmine Christine Engle, Maren Elizabeth Giese, Kaelen Lee Glentz Brush, Michaela Grace Kane, Hannah Huguette MacDonald, Liam Fionn Markey, Ezra D’artagnan Zeno Malchizadek Euripides Catcher McCarty, Riley F. Miller, Ruby Starshine Rolfe and Colter Ray Thibaudeau. This was followed by the traditional singing of “Gaudeamus Igitur” from the porch of Riverside’s iconic house, and the invocation provided by Ruby Rolfe. Head of School Michelle Ralston welcomed visitors and introduced the Commencement speaker, Rohan Racine, Riverside School Class of 2008.
Racine graduated from Lyndon Institute in 2012 and was accepted into Tufts University, where he achieved a bachelor of science in Chemistry and Economics, cum laude.
After graduating from Tufts, he worked in a chemistry lab at Mylan Technologies, a large generic pharmaceutical company, in St. Albans, Vt. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree at McGill University in Montreal studying Experimental Surgery. He also serves as a member of The Riverside School’s Board of Trustees.
Racine spoke of the school environment while a student at Riverside and how a core group of dedicated faculty was a constant source of support for him.
“It was pretty special to come back over the last year and see so many familiar faces in the faculty. It brings back so many memories of my time here, and I’m sure it will for all of you, too. There’s also something special about Riverside’s campus that gives all of us a sense home.”
He reminisced on school traditions and those that were started while he was a student, that continue to the present day. He spoke to the students about the importance of taking risks and life long learning.
“This school is extraordinarily supportive; teachers encourage risk taking, and students feel comfortable taking the risks because they know the school and their classmates support them. Riverside has continued the tradition of supporting and encouraging all students to try new things and to be engaged, but also not to be afraid or get discouraged while seeking something new. A small challenge to all of you graduating today is to keep that in mind. Never stop wanting to learn more. The world is changing faster and faster every year, so it’s important to keep learning and to keep wanting to learn.”
The celebration continued with class speakers, Oak Clarke, Alexa Counter, and Liam Markey and the eighth grade led younger students in singing “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John. Awards were then presented by faculty followed by diplomas presented by Stephanie Giese, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. Jasmine Engle led the benediction and a tasty potluck lunch rounded up the special day.
Academic Improvement: Carter Amidon, Grade 2; Adrienne Desrochers, Grade 5; Ezra McCarty, Grade 8.
Arts: Brooklynn Hibshman, Grade 4; Aubriella Holden, Grade 6; Henry Griffin, Grade 7; Josie Rowell, Grade 7; Oak Clarke, Grade 8; Jasmine Engle, Grade 8; Ruby Rolfe, Grade 8.
Athletics: Brooklynn Hibshman, Grade 4; Trixie Shackleton, Grade 6; CJ Hunt, Grade 7; Gus Yerkes, Grade 7.
Boswell Math & Science: Maaike Dam, Grade 7; Henry Griffin, Grade 7; Alexa Counter, Grade 8; Michaela Kane, Grade 8.
Citizenship: Emmett Bristol, Kindergarten; Simon Miller, Grade 6; Harper Smyth, Grade 6; Lacey Patoine, Grade 7; Gus Yerkes, Grade 7.
Lindbergh Humanities: Seda Boles, Grade 5; Bryn Irwing, Grade 5; Eliza Noel, Grade 7.
Koehne World Languages: Cora Adams, Grade 2; Lennon Daffinrud, Grade 5; Oak Clarke, Grade 8; Alexa Counter, Grade 8; Liam Markey, Grade 8.
Young Heron Award: Kellan Bristol, Grade 3; Gabi Young, Grade 4.
Eighth Grade Awards
Founders Cup of the Arts & Burklyn Arts Scholarship: Liam Markey and Riley Miller.
Thompson Athletics: Kaelen Glentz Brush
Williams Academic Excellence: Alexa Counter and Liam Markey.
Prometheus: Hannah MacDonald and Colter Thibaudeau.
Heron: Riley Miller
Founders’ Bowl: Oak Clarke and Maren Giese.