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Dobbs Ferry Has High Hopes For Its 119 High School Grads

Dobbs Ferry High School Valedictorian Sasha Clarick is a classically trained pianist and track team captain headed to Middlebury College. "We have been there for each other,'' Clarick said Saturday. "Today is a celebration of how far we have come." Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Some of the Class of 2015 graduates at Dobbs Ferry High School listening to Sasha Clarick's valedictorian speech on Saturday evening. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Four non-senior members of the Dobbs Ferry High School Select Octet who sang "Circle Game" during Friday's graduation ceremony, from left, Tiko Mkheidze, Lindsay Honigman, Jamie Honigman and Beth Feldberg. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
With their diplomas in the foreground, Dobbs Ferry High School seniors file into the gym during the graduate processional on Friday to "Pomp and Circumstance." Photo Credit: Jon Craig
What graduating seniors and their friends and families saw behind the Dobbs Ferry High School stage. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Dobbs Ferry Principal John Falino enjoyed the job of handing out high school diplomas. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Dobbs Ferry's Mia Elizabeth Becerra eagerly awaits her diploma while lined up behind Noah Baron and Class of 2015 Salutatorian Jacob Ascher. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Diplomas are awarded to Dobbs Ferry High School graduates as a packed gym of family and friends look on. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Dobbs Ferry Senior Bailey McGillian sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and played guitar during other graduation musical numbers. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
After Saturday's graduation ceremony was moved from the Dobbs Ferry waterfront due to rain, this is what greeted visitors outside Dobbs Ferry HIgh School on Friday night. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
The program cover for Saturday's commencement ceremonies at Dobbs Ferry High School was designed by senior Camille Rapay, who also got her diploma. Photo Credit: Camille Rapay

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- Class of 2015 graduates of Dobbs Ferry High School heard about success and happiness on Saturday before stepping forward for 119 diplomas.

High School Principal John Falino said, "I'm so proud of all of you and what you have accomplished as students and citizens. . . . This class will always hold a special place for me."

Falino noted that 36 of Saturday's 119 graduates received full International Baccalaureate diplomas -- an all-time high for Dobbs Ferry -- and 50 graduates received Advanced Regents diplomas. Falino said every single senior took at least one IB class. 

"The answer to 'what's next' is totally up to you,'' Falino said. "The future title on your LinkedIn profile is not the definer of success. . . .What this world needs is more good people."

Board of Education President Tracy Baron, whose son, Noah, was among this year's graduates, told the senior class: "We are so proud of you. You have made our world brighter just by being here."

Salutatorian Jacob Ascher, who is headed to Wesleyan University, said, "Just another great day to be alive. I can't believe this day is actually here. . . .We did it guys." 

Schools Superintendent Lisa Brady summed up her speech saying, "Happiness never decreases by being shared. My wish for you is a simple one: Be Happy." 

And Assistant Superintendent Douglas Berry, a former principal at Dobbs Ferry High School, said he "Googled" the word "success" while writing his final farewell and came up with 243 million results. 

 "Someone else's definition of success. . . should be irrelevant to you,'' Berry told the graduates. "Others should not define your success. Build your own definition of success. Only you will know when success has been achieved."

The only downside to Saturday's graduation was the drizzly weather, which drove the school's 114th commencement ceremony indoors and away from the village's new waterfront park.


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