This May 26th, Seoul International School held its 41st graduation ceremony on its artificial turf at 5:30 PM. As the sun shone under a cool breeze, it was as if even Mother Nature wanted the occasion to go by without a hitch. A momentous day for the class of 2018, myriad family members, teachers, and underclassmen came invited to congratulate all of their hard work.
|[Students and parents wait before the ceremony begins on the outdoor field (Photo taken by Rachel Lee)]|
Although the graduation ceremony began with a traditional speech the high school principaland the headmaster/founder,the speeches given by Nicholas Kim and Andrew Ham, respectively valedictorian and salutatorian, were what really began the show. While Kim spoke about the school’s rich history in a methodical manner, Ham spoke of the SIS experience through ametaphor, painting a picture of a dying comet. Nonetheless, both were powerful messages conveying the variegated years the senior class lived throughout their stay at the school.
Before the distribution of diplomas began, the SIS Ambassadors, the school’s audition choir, performed a congratulatory song for the students. This was extra special this year, because over half of the choir consisted of the graduating seniors and was thus their final performance in high school.
It is well known within the SIS community that this year’s graduating class was one of the most successful out of the school’s history in terms of university acceptances, so the descriptions spoken as the new graduates walked to the podium were impressive. Recent graduates included incoming students to Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and MIT.
Although most students didn’t decorate their caps, Genie Jang, a prominent cheerleader at SIS and incoming NYU freshman, decorated her cap with floral embellishments. She alsocartwheeled into the stage when receiving her diploma, a nod to her cheerleading career.It symbolized how high school is an opportunity for students to express their individuality.
When asked about how they felt about their high school career ending, the upperclassmen all had extremely different answers. But they all had one thing in common: that it all flew by so quickly that they “couldn’t even feel the torture of the classes.” They said to cherish each and every moment in high school before it’s too late.
|[Dr. Gerhard, the high school principal, smiles as he waits for a student to walk on the stage (Photo taken by Rachel Lee)]|
What made the Seoul International School class of 2018 stand out from previous alumni is that despite their outstanding achievements in academics and extracurricular, they maintained a humble and selfless attitude toward their peers and their underclassmen. Over 50% of the students committed to Top 30 universities, yet their passion and optimistic approach to what they did, even after applications were sent, whether it was debate, art, basketball, or music, never changed.Their character and kindness to the rest of the school community will never be forgotten. Thank you, seniors!
Seoul International School
Rachel Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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