Even the gloomy outdoor skies couldn’t dampen the celebratory spirit of Wye River Upper School’s graduation, with Head of School, Stephanie Borges Folarin, noting that “rain means good luck in many cultures”.
As the raindrops fell outside, the graduates cast their rays of sunshine, beaming as they walked across the gym stage to receive their diplomas. This graduating class, which is the largest in our history includes: Ian A., Tate G., Andrew G., Nadia H., Douglas H., Mark H., Tyler J., Cameron K., Adon L., Alex M., Daniel M., Jared M., Charlie M., Lindsay M., Cole P., Sam P., Virgil R., Reni Z.
Perseverance, growth and celebrating victories proved to be the recurring themes throughout the ceremony, as Board of Trustees Chair, Alexa Sipe, encouraged students to pursue their dreams and commencement speakers Matt Donohue, ‘17, and Joe Leilich spoke about the challenges they faced as students with learning differences. Quoting Thomas Edison, Donohue encouraged the class of ‘22 to hold
steadfast and follow their dreams. “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up,” said Donohue. “Don’t give up. Be that person who makes a change for the good.”
Continuing on the theme, Leilich, First Commander of the American Legion Jeff Davis Post 18, stressed the importance of recognizing “small victories” when faced with a challenge. A victory can be any achievement no matter how small. “There are going to be times when you don’t succeed the first time,” said Leilich. “But you never give up, and never quit on your goal. And when you reach your goal, congratulate yourself for it.”
Student speaker, Mark H., spoke fondly of the growth and memories he and his classmates shared over the years. “It’s been a great learning environment and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.” No doubt this spirited, determined class will continue to bring joy, humor and determination along with them as they celebrate the beginning of their many victories. Congratulations to the class of 2022!
About Wye River Upper School
Wye River Upper School is an independent high school serving the strengths and needs of bright students with learning differences. Located in Centreville MD approximately 20 minutes east of the Bay Bridge. For more info contact Tracie Spence at 443-262-8292.