SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- The year 2026 must seem a lifetime away to a first grader, but the future was made a bit clearer to first graders of the W.L. Morse School, members the Class of 2026, when they were personally welcomed into the school district family by the Sleepy Hollow High School Class of 2015 on Thursday, Oct. 2 at the 24th Annual Rose Ceremony.
The Rose Ceremony, a tradition in the Tarrytown Union Free School District for nearly a quarter of a century, represents the passing of the torch from graduating seniors to first graders beginning their educations. It is marked by the gifting of a rose from the seniors to the wide-eyed 6-and 7-year-olds.
Tarrytown Superintendent of Schools Christopher Clouet was on hand to witness his second Rose Ceremony and reflected on the event's meaning.
"The ceremony is unique to the district and I had never seen anything like it before," Clouet said. "It's a beautiful connection between big kids and little kids and a passage of time that puts the lives of both groups in perspective. The older kids look backward and the younger kids can see themselves going forward. It's something very special and I'm proud to be a part of it."
"First graders, soon you will learn how special Sleepy Hollow High School is and you will be ready to take on all amazing things that await you here," said Senior Class President Randy Perez.
“The Rose Ceremony is a time to celebrate all that we are and all that we have yet to become. It is also a time to say thank you to our parents and teachers for guiding us along the way. The Class of 2015 and the Class of 2026 have much to be proud of."
Sara Friedman sang the national anthem, the Sleepy High School Chorus sang "Child of Tomorrow" to their young counterparts and Heather Brown, Sara Friedman, Glenni Rodriguez and Xiara Rodriguez sang "Hail To Sleepy Hollow."
Class Vice President Sarah Hofmann introduced a video in which high school students gave a humorous and welcoming tour of the high school to two first-graders. Then Morse School Principal Tom Holland and his teachers sent their youngsters on stage for the poignant passing of the roses ceremony.
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