96th Annual Commencement

Commencement 2012 2
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Merkin Concert Hall

The 53 members of the Class of 2012 include classical and popular musicians and singers, jazz and ballet dancers, equestrians and ice skaters.  Just days before graduation, three members of the senior class were invited to join the New York City Ballet Company as Apprentices, the culmination of many years of training at the School of American Ballet.  In celebration, several of them danced across the stage on the way to receive their diplomas.  One senior, Reed Kessler, could not attend commencement.  She was still competing in the final Olympic qualifying events.  On Monday, four days later, she received word that she had qualified and would be going to London with the U.S.Equestrian Team, the youngest member in Olympic history.

Chairman of the Board Harold S. Spitzer welcomed parents and guests.  The diplomas were presented by Academic Dean Marcy Mann, with assistance from Class of 2013 members Paulina Gerzon and Luke Rosen.  Associate Head Carol Kleban presented the awards and citations and honored Peggy Meertins for her 30th year of service as High School Assistant.  Ms. Meertins received an honorary diploma, making her a member of the Class of 2012.

Dr. James Dawson, Head of School, addressed the class.   "Believe in something; something bigger than yourself," he told them.  "Believe in something outside your own experience.  Believe in a cause, a goal, in a political position, a social position."  Have faith.  "One can believe in democracy.  One can believe in the political need for equality of all people, or in the fair distribution of wealth, or in the need to support the rights of each and every person on this planet to health, happiness, and a clean environment."  Click here for the complete speech.

Following Dr. Dawson's remarks members of the Class of 2012 performed one last time for the school community.  Four seniors chose to speak to the class.  One of them, Ari Breitman, thanked his parents for sending him to PCS, "among the many amazing things they have done to support me. ...PCS felt like a breath of fresh air.  Now I could have space to pursue my dream and get an education that I would be proud of."  Click here for another senior's remarks.

The performances ended when seniors Hannah Soo Jin Cho and Pei-Wen Liao, both violinists, and Ramin Abrams, contrabass player, were joined by two members of the Class of 2013, violinists Kako Miura and Jonathan Russell, in a breathtaking performance of Piazzolla's Libertango. 

Congratulations to all!                                     photos by Jefrey Gamblee