As the song “Kids” by MGMT played, The Weber School’s Class of 2109 walked into their graduation at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts May 24.
Head of School Rabbi Ed Harwitz welcomed those gathered for the graduation and thanked Nicole Brite, grade level dean and teacher and dean of science for organizing the graduation. “Some of my favorite memories of this graduating class was when they would approach me or the faculty with great initiatives to make Weber a better place,” Harwitz said.
Salutatorian Sydney Rein asked the parents and grandparents to stand and she thanked them for their guidance and support over the years. The room roared with cheers, claps, and gratitude for the parents. Rein spoke about Weber’s motto of Head, Heart, and Hands, and how the graduates should continue this philosophy throughout their life. Rein ended her speech with a quote from football star Drew Brees: “Do it the right way and better the way you found it.”
Valedictorian Ruthie Stolovitz said she felt “grateful and thankful to be standing here today” and thanked the faculty and administration for supporting the students throughout the years. Stolovitz quoted Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” Stolovitz closed her speech by saying “I don’t know how our dots will align, but I know they will connect somewhere in the future.”
Weber chorus sang a lovely rendition of “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty and harmonized while Drew Cohen, music program director, played guitar.
Graduate JoJo Rinzler introduced Michael Bennett, the dean of student affairs, ninth-grade dean, and an English teacher, who was the graduation faculty speaker. Bennett talked about how interruptions can change your life for the better. “Don’t wait for life to pull you out of the library, your phone, or your comfort zone, let the interruptions happen.” He encouraged the graduating class to continue their thirst for learning and closed his speech with an inspirational quote: “Knowledge is not the end of education, it is the bread that keeps you going on your journey.”
Another graduate, May Abravanel, sang a song in Hebrew, while Harwitz played guitar and those familiar sang along.
Principal Shlaina Van Dyke gave a final commencement speech and wished the graduating class the best on all their endeavors. Associate Head of School Paul Ginburg called out each student’s name as they walked across the stage, where they shook Harwitz’s hand and gave Van Dyke a hug after receiving their diplomas.
Celebrating the accomplishment of finishing high school, the class of 2019 ended the ceremony by cheering and tossing up their caps.