Final Graduation for MHS Principal Elizabeth Clain
By Stephen E. Lipken
Despite threatening skies, the rain held off for the Class of 2022 Mamaroneck High School (MHS) Commencement Exercises on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
Dr. Robert Shaps, Superintendent of Schools extended his congratulations to the Seniors, acknowledging that “the start of your Senior year was disrupted by a natural disaster and further complicated by the persistence of a pandemic that dramatically impacted your High School experience.
“To your credit, you were incredibly resilient, as no other class has been asked to endure the pains and tribulations these past four years…I believe that the struggle to maintain a sense of passion for learning and ability to excel will serve to help you for the purposeful life ahead.
“You are not the only ones graduating. Your beloved Principal, Ms. Elizabeth Clain is graduating [retiring] after 26 years of service,” Shaps announced.
“Tonight, is the 11th Graduation Ceremony that I have presided over,” Clain noted. “In 2015 Peter Wohlleben published a book titled, ‘The Hidden Life of Trees,’ presenting to us a world where trees have feelings, communicating with each other through their roots, a ‘wood-wide-web,’ having family and taking care of each other.”
“In March of 2020 we were given orders to go home and stay home. Most things that we relied upon for one another came to a grinding halt. We missed the bustling halls of MHS. Our class of 2020 sat six feet apart. We yearned for a time where we could be together as one.
“When Hurricane Ida came sweeping through Mamaroneck and Larchmont, causing devastating damage to homes and businesses, so many of us were physically displaced and emotionally impacted. We were reminded again of our interdependence.
“Our community came out in full force and rallied around those impacted by the flooding. Like the forest, we are intimately connected with each other.
“When I look at each of the saplings in front of me, I am awed by the miraculous systems you have already put in place to protect one another.
You are entering a world of uncertainty and upheaval. We hope that the roots that have tied you to Mamaroneck remain strong.”