Graduation caps. Photo booths. Canvas signing. Proud Parents.
Nearly 70 students are graduating this year, eager to move on to the next chapter of their lives.
Their world will soon expand beyond the compact ACS campus, lunch breaks at the cafeteria, or even at restaurants around the corner, as one graduate put it. Tarik B., was among three students giving student speeches.
Meanwhile senior Karim K. said that he will keep the memories he made. “It’s an end to a great journey, but as well it’s the beginning of a new one,” he said.
Finally, Khaled M., paid tribute both to his classmates and their parents for being truly special.
“We ran a marathon, painted realistic pictures beyond belief, played the saxophone ... We can dunk a basketball, get a thousand Instagram followers, score well above the average on our SATs. We got into the top universities, and broke school athletic records. We can sing, act, fluently speak English, Arabic, French, Hindi, even a bit of Italian because of that one time we took a year off and went to Rome. For all our flaws as a whole, every individual here makes up for it and then some, making us a pretty kick ass class,” Khaled said.
Thanking parents for being “the backbone to our thriving success,” Khaled then singled out moms, including his own, Ghada Dada, a high school librarian at ACS, to express his gratitude, in a poem that left at least a few moms with a lump in their throats.
From diapers to pants, pacifier in hand,
Catering to our every demand,
You brought us up with love and care,
Making sure we were safe everywhere,
Shipped off to school at an early age,
Food in our lunchbox, you set the stage,
Elementary paved the way for us,
And with it we were quite the fuss
Middle school came, with it our shame
In those dark times when we thought you were lame,
We wanted to be ‘in’, social and cool,
No longer were you our buddy in school.
That was the past, and today has come,
And we now realize your worth,
You’ve looked out for us every step of the way,
From the moment you gave birth.
Thank you for everything you’ve shown me
أنا أحبك يا أمي
To resounding applause, Khaled handed the stage over to Nicholas Lewis, IB economics teacher, and Todd Campbell, IB English teacher.
Lewis invited the graduating class to take a chance and not worry about making a mistake. “Be afraid, but not afraid to make mistakes. Make mistakes, but don’t be too prideful to correct them. And be prideful: You are who you are because of what you have gone through, not in spite of it,” Lewis said.
Thanking members of the senior class for having been his advocates, just as much as he had been theirs, Lewis, said, “Each of you, in your own way, reminded me of what is best about education … And I can honestly say, I learned a lot.”
Following Lewis, Campbell delivered some remarks and his own interpretation of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” which has become almost like the senior class’s official hymn. Many sang along.
Then a slideshow of young photos of members of the senior class was shown.
During the event, seniors could take fun souvenir photos at specially set-up photo booths and they could sign the senior class canvas, which will stay at ACS.
As is tradition, each graduating class raises money for a cause of their choice. The 2016 Senior Class hopes to raise $2000 for their class gift, which will be used to build a new guard’s cabin at the electrical gate.