At New Canaan Country School’s Closing Exercises Tuesday, June 14, Head of School Aaron Cooper encouraged the members of the Class of 2022 to draw upon the many strengths they developed during their tenure at the Pre-K through Grade 9 school, particularly the skill of leaning in to challenge. The graduates, their families, faculty and staff gathered on the front lawn of the school’s campus for the outdoor ceremony.
“Lean into tension even as it might be uncomfortable. Lean into stress even as it does not feel good. Lean into the new ideas you will encounter in your classes, even when they don’t make sense. Lean into the perspectives of your new classmates, even if you at first disagree. Lean into sharing your own beliefs, in class and with your peers, even if they are first met with silence. Lean into the losses as much as the wins, taking what you can learn from them. It will serve you well in the next several years and in the next several decades.”
Ninth Grader Caroline DiBiasio of Darien delivered the Class Salutation in which she welcomed those in attendance and acknowledged the school’s faculty and staff and sense of community as integral to the class’ success, particularly during the pandemic. She went on to recount several of the highlights the graduates had experienced together during their academic journey and how they evolved into leaders. “We have made this place our own.”
Ninth Grader Matthew Rivera of Stamford presented the Class Reflection. Noting the adversity of the past three years caused by the pandemic, he credited the school community for teaching the class both perseverance and inclusivity. “Living through a pandemic is a once in a lifetime experience and it was far from easy. From this experience, we learned the importance of resilience and sticking together. By sticking together and being there for each other, we were able to support one another whenever we needed.”
He went on to note that despite the periods of health-imposed isolation, the class emerged closer than ever. “After a couple years spent social distancing, this physical closeness engendered an inclusive camaraderie. Everyday at lunch, in an effort to fit everyone in at the table, we moved all the chairs to the left or right to make room for everyone who wanted a seat. No one ever complained about having to make room for someone, we all just did it.”
Class of 2022 graduate Brendan Buda of Rowayton received the Gamble Award, which is presented to the student who exemplifies, to the highest measure, the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Penelope Arredondo of Rowayton received the Johansen Award, which is presented to the member of the graduating class who most exemplifies the qualities of care and concern for others, compassion and a sense of community.
The Class of 2022 will attend the following secondary schools:
Berkshire School, Brunswick School, Canterbury School, Deerfield Academy, Fairfield College Preparatory School, Greens Farms Academy, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich Country Day School, The Hotchkiss School, King School, New Canaan High School, Northfield Mount Hermon School, The Putney School, Rye Country Day School, St. Luke's School, and Westminster School.
The Class of 2022 includes:
Penelope Arredondo, Anne Boggess, Brendan Buda, Caroline DiBiasio, Eleanor duPont, John Fichthorn, Jr, Matthew Fry, Lane Gallagher, Reed Ghriskey, Oliver Golden, Ann Harrigan, Lyla Koch, Colin Mackey, Daniel Marin, John Nally, Riley Newport, Brodie O'Connor, Morgan Powell, Matthew Rivera, Ellie Rosolen, Dario Sanon, Christopher Santa, Matthew Schell, Flynn Sellschop and Alex Thiersaint.
New Canaan Country School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin and are afforded all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies or any other school-administered programs.