Celebrating Our Graduates!
Maplebrook School Graduation 2012
The bagpipes struck their cord and signaled to the 19 members of the Maplebrook School Class of 2012 that the moment they had long been waiting for was upon them.
Led into Rossman Hall by their fellow classmates and faculty/staff in academic regalia, the graduates took their place front and center in a very emotional and uplifting ceremony. Madeline Denham, President of the Student Government welcomed attendees while Miss Donna Konkolics, Head of School/CEO, officiated over the rest of the ceremony.
Dr. Harold Koplewicz is the Founder of the NYU Child Study Center and established the Child Mind Institute in 2009. As commencement speaker, he spoke about his heroes. He went on to say that while he only knew a few people in the room, he knew former student government president and classmate, Zachary Berger, quite well. "He, like so many of you, has been through so much to get to here and the progress and achievements that he has racked up in the past seven years are truly inspiring. This is because of the support and opportunities that have been provided over the years, but neither of these would be worth anything without resolve - and that resolve is yours Zach and I see it in the rest of you too; it's in the pride in your faces at a job well done and the excitement about mastering future challenges. In your eyes, I see strength, I see kindness and I see resilience. I see the best qualities of all my heroes."
Commencement Speaker, Dr. Harold Koplewicz
In attendance were several of the Maplebrook Board of Trustees and Foundation Directors. Trustees like George T. Whalen, Jr., Roger Fazzone, Robert Audia, and Rocky Ducillo assisted in making scholarship presentations to 14 students while Mark J. Metzger, Board Chairman, presented the citizenship award. Other significant awards were presented by the head of school and academic dean. Special recognition was given to the Society of Honor members, faculty/staff, and parents. The Community Appreciation Award presented by CAPS Director, Dr. F. Michael Enzinna, was presented to Thomas and Madeleine Duggan for their work with CAPS students at Kildare Stables.
Unique to a Maplebrook graduation, each senior gave a brief and heart-warming speech upon receiving their diploma. There wasn't a dry eye in the house as some graduates emotionally struggled to say their words of thanks while others cracked jokes about their Maplebrook memories in the dorm or with specific faculty. Madeline remarked, "Two and a half years ago I came to this school, a quiet and shy girl. I was more interested in my studies rather than making friends - it was easier. It took me a few days to meet everyone, but only took a day to meet my best friends. From that time on, I have had a lot of good memories that I will take with me to college in Colorado."
"Just like any other graduate, I am torn between an eager desire to embrace a new life and a reluctance to leave old friends. I will definitely never forget the great moments I've experienced here and I will not back down from the challenges and excitements that await me in the future thanks to CAPS," said James from South Carolina. Another CAPS senior, A.J. Paoli, remarked, " I am excited to be here today as this is the first day that I take my first step into the real world....CAPS has taught me a lot about the importance of getting a job and being independent. I hope to work in a career where I can make a difference too."
Please take a moment to listen in to some of our graduates as they share what their Maplebrook School journeys have meant to them.
Joshua Stevens Madeline Denham
Zachary Berger A.J. Paoli
Finally, with a collective turn of the tassel, the Class of 2012 recessed to be greeted by more than 250 classmates, friends, faculty, and family before finishing any last minute packing and moving on to their next journey.