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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