Thursday, July 9th, students, their families, and teachers gathered in the school courtyard-social distancing, and with masks- to honor the IB graduating class of 2020.
The graduation ceremony is always emotional; students are concluding a path towards adulthood; they are progressing to the next step in their lives. This year’s graduation ceremony almost didn’t happen. COVID restrictions required us to limit the event to only the more symbolic elements of the tradition: no hugging or shaking hands as we passed out the diploma, and smiles and tears were hidden behind masks. But all of this made the experience more suggestive and moving. A group of 28 students, who worked diligently and came together in a historically unprecedented situation, arrive at this moment. Their families supported them, their teachers cajoled and guided them, and the students took the reins and ran with the situation. Now they have a month to relax before heading off to the many courses in Italy and abroad which they have chosen. It is a new world; we hope that VIS has given them the tools to know themselves so that they can stay faithful to themselves and to their values as they adapt to an ever-changing world. It will not be easy, but as Elisa reminded us, students have learned to get their step by step, one deadline, and critic after another as they grow wiser and stronger.
After Marcella Bodo, Head of School welcomed everyone, Ms. Gutowitz congratulated each student, Ms. Mamini gave a heartfelt discourse relating her own experiences to those of our graduation class, and the two representatives of the school were highlighted. Martina Brasolin‘s voice warmed us, and Elisa Sistino gave an inspiring salute to her classmates. The diplomas were handed out as a slide show of trips and CAS projects played in the background. Once the ceremony ended, students and teachers gathered on the school steps, distanced enough to remove masks. At the count of three, mortarboards were thrown high in celebration as cell phones, and cameras recorded the moment.