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55 Students Graduate From The Harvey School

Valedictorian Jesse Silbert gives his speech as Headmaster Barry Fenstermacher listens. Photo Credit: Contributed by Gabe Palacio Photography
A look at the 55-member graduating class of The Harvey School. Photo Credit: Contributed by Gabe Palacio Photography
William Shaffer of Bedford (left) and Kiersten Wittmann of Cortlandt Manor, the top eighth-grade scholars at Harvey, shared their address to students. Photo Credit: Contributed by Gabe Palacio Photography
A look at the eighth-grade graduating class at The Harvey School. Photo Credit: Contributed by Gabe Palacio Photography
Commencement speaker Matthew Cross speaks at The Harvey School. Photo Credit: Contributed by Gabe Palacio Photography

KATONAH, N.Y. -- Fifty-five seniors at The Harvey School made history Thursday when their 2013 commencement ceremony was held indoors in the new 22,000-square-foot athletic center. 

While the venue broke from the traditional setting under a large white tent on the upper playing fields, the program itself did not. Once again, Pipe Major Jonathan Henken led the procession of the graduates into the gym to the tune of “Earl of Mansfield.” The girls in white dresses and the boys in navy blue blazers and navy-and-maroon-striped ties paraded in twos and filed into the rows of white seats in front of the dais situated on a raised platform decked with a table of prizes.

Rabbi David Greenberg of Temple Shaaray Tefila of Bedford Corners gave the invocation in which he called upon the graduates to “go forth to do your share to fix some of the brokenness of the world.”

Headmaster Barry Fenstermacher’s welcoming remarks included a salute to the “distinguished academic record” of the class. Citing their many accomplishments in and out of the classroom, the Headmaster said the graduates “have earned their self-esteem and, in fact, have simply thrived.”

Commencement speaker Matthew Cross, founder and president of Leadership Alliance, shared the “five guiding principles” that helped inspire him to succeed. He told the graduates to think of life as “an ongoing classroom where everyone and everything is your teacher.”

The valedictory address was delivered by Jesse Silbert, Harvey’s top scholar. The Wilton, Conn., resident who plans to study at Columbia University called upon his classmates to “embrace change and be willing to make the climb,” adding, “we might fall but we may also soar.”

The Rev. Daniel Lennox, associate rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bedford, gave the benediction before the traditional handing over of the Spirit Cup from Student Council President Karina Lambert to her successor, Jahbari Taylor, signifying the changing of the guard of student leadership.

When the sounds of “The Minstrel Boy” could be heard from Piper Jonathan Henker, the music signaled the end of the ceremony and time for the recessional of the faculty followed by the graduates, who exited the gym and gathered with family and friends on the quad.

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