Senior Class Graduation
On May 21st, the Robinson graduating Class of 2016 celebrated their commencement exercises in Shappell Gym, in their blue caps and gown with gold stoles, their faces shining with well-earned pride. Family, friends and Robinson staff filled the gym to join in the ceremony.
Valeria Soto sang both national anthems, and Gabriela Anglada led the invocation, thankful for this opportunity to commemorate their achievements “in this house, our school.”
Gabriela Perdomo, Class of 2016 President, welcomed Robinson School faculty, staff, students, parents and friends, “better known as my second family.” She expressed what an honor it had been to serve as class president for the past 5 years and her gratitude for the memories they had built together as class over the years: “You all hold a very special place in my heart.”
Valeria Soto and Hector González dedicated the ceremony to Lourdes Casiano, Head Senior Class Sponsor and English teacher. Her dedication and support kept them motivated, while lovingly teaching difficult lessons through her unique combination of strictness and sweetness.
Gabriela Perdomo asked Andrea López, incoming Class of 2017 president, to join her onstage for the traditional “Passing of the Ladder of Success.” Andrea accepted the Ladder as a symbol of her class’s commitment to striving for their goals by fulfilling Robinson School ideals, each step on the ladder bringing them closer to the achievement of their goals.
After singing the Robinson School song—which unites past, present and future Robinson generations—Mariella García, Gabriela Anglada, Gabriela Dueñas and Franco González gave the Senior Class of 2016 Gratitude Speech. They expressed gratitude for their teachers, and how their “hard work and dedication” inspired them “to love, grow, solve rigorous situations and reflect upon them;” Robinson staff for “for always making us feel at home;” parents for the blessing of their love and guidance; and the Class of 2016, their classmates, who made every day at Robinson an adventure.
Gabriela Dueñas asked her classmates to “take a moment to look at the students next to you and try to remember a special moment with them,” adding that “although we will leave the school, our hearts will remain here. Once a hawk, always a hawk.”
After Daniel Mejías (Class of 2015) performed the Rascal Flatts song “My Wish,” Ms. Sandra Rosenbaum, Upper School Division Head, presented the following awards for academic excellence:
• Gabriela Perdomo – 2016 B. Foster Stockwell Award for her commitment, leadership and consistently excellent academic performance.
• Antonio Gil de Rubio – Class of 2016 Salutatorian Award for his outstanding overall academic performance from 9th through 12th grades. He addressed his classmates and encouraged them to remember where they came from and to always give back.
• Yuecen Wang – Class of 2016 Valedictorian Award for the highest overall academic performance through her constant dedication, commitment and perseverance.
Sandra Rosenbaum, Upper School Division Head, called seniors on stage individually to receive their diplomas from Cindy Ogg, Head of School. Senior Class sponsors—Lourdes Casiano, Vivane Fournier, Carine Poinson and Vannessa Vargas—described each student’s unique character, their clubs and activities, awards and future plans.
After receiving their diplomas, Beatriz Guzmán, Robinson’s college counselor, presented 3 prestigious awards to the following students:
• Daniela López Chanique – Rensselaer Medal from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for promising secondary school students in the fields of Mathematics and Science.
• Antonio Gil de Rubio – Bausch and Lomb Science Award for outstanding academic achievement, exceptional character and talent in the field of Science.
• Gabriela Perdomo Oliveira – George Eastman Young Leaders Award for young people who exhibit strong leadership qualities at school and in their community
Giselle López and José Arroyo, our Student Government Association (SGA) sponsors, announced a series of awards that are especially dear to Robinson’s heart:
• Héctor González Vega and Adriana Negrón Cruz – John E. Shappell Award and Dorothea Shappell Award, respectively, for exemplifying Robinson School spirit during their 4 years of high school. They displayed loyalty and devotion to the school through their sense of responsibility, honesty, cooperation, and respect towards all.
• Andreina Rodríguez Azuaje and María Hernández Feo – Malala Yousafsai Award for exceptional individuals dedicated to fighting indifference, intolerance and injustice at Robinson School, their local communities and the world.
• Antonio Gil de Rubio and Gabriela Perdomo Oliveira – 2016 Senior(s) of the Year Award for demonstrating the following qualities:
o Commitment to the Robinson School mission
o Strong values, respect for self and others
o Outstanding academic performance and active community involvement and service
o Loyalty, punctuality, perseverance, constancy, flexibility and respectfulness to the Institution
Ms. Rosenbaum invoked the biblical passage “And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?” before presenting the school’s most prestigious award to the senior who has shown respect for all, initiative in helping others, an acute sense of social justice and selfless acts during his or her high school career. Robinson School proudly awarded the 2016 Robinson Award to Daniela López Chanique.
Cindy Ogg, Robinson Head of School, joined Ms. Rosenbaum for the Acceptance of the Class. Seniors rose, and Ms. Rosenbaum presented Mrs. Ogg with the Senior Graduating Class of 2016.
After seniors moved their tassels from the right to the left side of their caps, Mrs. Ogg addressed the class. She expressed her pride at graduating this particular class because she had taught many of them in her own kindergarten class, the last class she taught before moving into different areas of the school. She graduated the Class of 2016 in kindergarten, 6th grade and, now, in 12th grade. They had made the journey together, and this was their final full-circle moment.
In the future, Mrs. Ogg encouraged graduates to “go even further. Don’t just ‘think’ you can; KNOW you can. I certainly know it, especially after seeing you grow into the fine young men and women I see before me today.” She congratulated the class on completing this journey, wishing them all the best in their future endeavors and reminding them that Robinson will always be their home.
Cindy Ogg concluded by accepting the Senior Graduating Class of 2016 as Robinson Head of School and, with the power vested in her by the Department of Education, officially declaring them graduates of Robinson School.
After the final benediction by Robinson Chaplain Rosangélica Acevedo, Ms. Rosenbaum proudly congratulated the Class of 2016. After counting to three, the graduates joyously threw their caps into the air!
Robinson School congratulates the Class of 2016! We know you will shine as brightly in the future as you have here!