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Graduation 2012

Event Date: 
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 6:15pm

 SSA Graduation 2012 was a roaring success. This year's graduates - all seven of them - did the school proud. They are an amazing, eclectic, fascinating bunch. Everyone who spoke that night, from head of school Karen Rosenberg to Mrs. Ravenelle and Mr. Fischer, noted how very different these children are. There is Leah Berke who likes to ride horses and loves animals of all kinds. In fact, she wants to work with them when she grows up. Leah is also a musician. She plays the piano and is planning on learning how to play the guitar when she starts East Lyme Middle School in the fall. Her speech was about Mitzvah. Rachel Goldstein, a graceful and gifted dancer and athlete, spoke of her recent trip to Israel. It was a wonderful speech that kept the audience absolutely captivated. She is going to join her older brother at The Williams School in the fall and hopes to become a doctor when she grows up. Rachel will be dancing with the Joffrey Ballet in New York this summer and plans to dance for fun even when becomes an anesthesiologist like her Dad, or perhaps a radiologist. Deniz Kayhan is a gifted budding designer who showed off her amazing designs - bags and a complete dress made out of Capri Sun juice pouches. She, too, will be going to The Williams School in the fall. Her speech was about her favorite designer, Donna Karan. Multitalented - she is also a musician and gymnast - and passionate about design, she is not ruling out a very different career path, that of a doctor. Jonathan Dryden-Jaffe spoke of Jewish humor and entertained the audience with wonderful jokes and anecdotes. Charming, funny and bright, this 6th Grader will be going to Clark Lane Middle School in Waterford, CT. He hopes to work in computer art design and use the many ideas he has for video game design when he grows up. Jack Morse, who will be going to Fields Memorial School in Bozrah, CT, spoke about Jewish superstitions. An athlete and a dancer (the only boy in his class who took part in SSA Dance Club), Jack is also a big fan of video games. He would like to become a lawyer in the Coast Guard when he is older. Gavin Pressler, whose speech was about Jewish artists, is a talented artist himself. Gavin showed off his painting of a Rabbi teaching a boy Hebrew. When creating it, he was inspired by the work of Mark Chagall. Gavin hasn't decided on a career path yet, but there is no doubt it will be something to do with the arts. He will be homeschooled, combining grades 7 and 8 in one year, and then go on to high school. Finally, Reed Spitzer, who spoke about chemistry and Chaim Weizmann, may be going to The Country Day School in Madison, CT. He was on the SSA basketball team and hopes to become a chemical enginner when he grows up. He also wants to join a chess club when he starts his new school. 

It was a very happy night. Head of school Karen Rosenberg addressed the graduates with a warm, heartfelt speech filled with beautiful memories of good times at SSA. Mrs. Ravenelle also made a touching speech, telling the children how much they will be missed and what fun she'd had with them. Jerry Fischer added a note of humor and told the audience about the graduates' last Hebrew lesson, which was "wicked fun". 

Everyone present cried buckets of happy tears. It was a night to remember. These amazing students will go far and will be missed dearly, both by their wonderful teachers and the students they are leaving behind. The Kindergarteners alone have formed a huge fan club and can't imagine their lives at SSA without their beloved graduates. We wish SSA graduates of 2012 the best of luck and know they will do great things. We also hope they will come back and visit us.


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