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July 2018

Graduates Encouraged to Soar

By Stephen E. Lipken


At the Mamaroneck High School (MHS) Class of 2018 Commencement on Wednesday, June 20, faculty speakers urged their students to soar in flight, whether emulating a hawk family that Principal Elizabeth Clain observed or a lowly caterpillar banging against the ceiling of its chrysalis to spread its wings and fly, according to MHS English teacher Margaret Groninger.


“Every culture on earth is filled with myths of flying creatures…,” Clain began. “As we spend more time on our screens and less time looking up at the sky…I wonder if perhaps we are losing that important connection to nature and whether we are shutting ourselves off to the strength and wonder that our ancestors gained by creating myths and stories to make sense of the natural world.


“As you begin your own journey, my hope for you…is that each of you look up and aim high.  That you, like the regal hawk pay attention to your surroundings and not just lean in but dive in to the opportunities that present themselves to you…”


“Look in the mirror and thank yourself because you’re the one person that you could not have done it without,” Salutatorian David Hilden stressed.


“There is this lovely little adage, ‘Without change there could be no butterflies,’ Groninger observed.  “It speaks of the obstacles the lowly caterpillar must traverse to grow its wings and fly…Don’t seek comfort over change.”


Senior Class President Meaghan Matt presented the Class Gift, a set of barbecue grills “that will enhance the MHS outdoor experience.”


Janet Knight, President Mamaroneck Teachers Association presented the Arthur Boothby Award to Grace Maffucci, a pupil pursuing interests in Spanish and music.

Valedictorian Rebecca Mancuso said that her family came to America from a tiny town in Italy, Carlantino.  “There is still only running water there for two hours a day and it is 40 miles to the nearest city.”


“John Dewey said, ‘Education is not preparation for life.  Education is life itself,’” Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps stressed.