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Briarcliff High School Holds 89th Commencement

Hundreds gathered at Pace University to celebrate the Briarcliff HS Class of 2012.

As the 152 students of the Class of 2012 proceeded into the Goldstein Fitness Center at Thursday, a crowd of family and friends cheered on the graduates.

Student Government Co-President Maxwell Alley welcomed everyone in attendance, The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and the Briarcliff High School Chorus, led by Dr. John Banks, performed the Star Spangled Banner.

Class Co-Presidents Brianna Collins and Emma Bramson recognized those in attendance who contributed to making their school year very rewarding, and then introduced the school principal, James Kaishian.

“The divide between our ideals and what is realistic is overstated,” he began. “There is no irreconcilable contradiction between what we know in our minds and what we feel in our hearts. Indeed, our ideals, our aspirations and our most closely held convictions are not incompatible.” 

Kaishian continued, “Take the world by storm…There is great reward in this brave new world for those who remain young in heart, mind and spirit.”

drew a comparison of life at Briarcliff High to the game Clue.

“We did it all,” she said. “We are guilty as charged. We studied, we learned, we grew. We are guilty of excelling in academics, and showing outstanding talent in varsity sports. We are guilty of devoting ourselves to community service and of shining brightly in the arts.” 

“This is not the end of our game," Copans continued. "And tonight’s secret envelope does not hold the final answer. We have many more rooms to visit and many more rounds to play. Enjoy the game, class of 2012.”

followed Copans. 

“When I realized I had no legacy to fulfill, but one to make, I was able to experience success," said Khanna. "With the support and guidance of everyone here, I came to live. Everything that has brought me success has stemmed from you.”

Valedictorian Stephan Kienzle spoke next. 

“We are leaving our comfort zone,” he began. “But we will always keep with us the influence that Briarcliff has had on us. To quote Hazel Henderson, ‘If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic.’”

Faculty guest speaker Paul Bordonaro, chosen by the class of 2012, spoke next.

“I used the following words to guide me through my high school and college years: President Theodore Roosevelt stated, ‘It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or whether the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.’”

Next, Superintendent Neal Miller congratulated the class of 2012 and wished them well.

The Briarcliff High School Chorus sang a gospel arrangement of Kirby Shaw's Bridge Over Troubled Water before the diplomas were presented and caps were strewn into the air amid clapping and cheers.

Congratulations, BHS Class of 2012!

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