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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jul 01, 2017

Rumson Country Day School Class of 2017 Graduation

Families, friends, teachers, and administrators looked on with pride as 41 eighth grade boys and girls proceeded across the tented lawn to a stage for the Rumson Country Day School’s Commencement on Friday, June 9, concluding the school’s 90th anniversary year.

Eighth grade speaker Shane Schechter set the tone of the evening with a heartfelt and eloquently delivered speech, in which he graciously thanked teachers and parents, touched on memories and RCDS traditions, and concluded with an inspirational statement. “While this may be the end of an excellent chapter in our lives, for every end there is a new beginning,” he said. “I know that we Gators are capable of anything that we can dream of and together we will leave and lead with kindness, honesty, respectfulness, and responsibility.”

Keeping up with RCDS tradition, several students were honored with awards to recognize their hard work, character, and talents. The Athletic Department Award, given to the athletes in the graduating class who best exemplify the qualities of athleticism, participation, spirit, and sportsmanship, was given to Sophia Mahedy and Ian Wurch. Samuel Murphy received the Joseph N. Dempsey, Jr. Award, given by the performing arts programs in the memory of Jody Dempsey to recognize expertise in the performing arts. Formerly known as the Headmaster’s Award, the Blake Award is named after Edgar Bond Blake, who served the Rumson Country Day School for 40 years, 20 of them as headmaster. This prestigious award was given to Morgan Cecil to acknowledge his exemplary service to RCDS. The Swede Joseph Chevalier Memorial Award was presented by Swede’s mother to honor Alexandra Lewis and her display of kindness and humility towards fellow students, devotion to growth and originality, and perseverance to goals.

Board of trustees member, alum, and current parent Carl Reiss proudly presented the Theodore K. Reiss Memorial Award in memory of his brother Ted Reiss. The Reiss Memorial Award was given to Josh Harmon, who best exemplifies the spirit of good sportsmanship, not only on the athletic field, but in all phases of school life. Abigail Ryan achieved top honors, including the Highest Scholarship Award and the Trustees Prize, which recognize the graduate who has attained the highest level of scholarship in the Upper School over the last three years and who has shown the most outstanding qualities of scholarship, sportsmanship, leadership, and character. Shane Schechter was honored as this year’s Second Highest Scholarship Winner.

Also recognized at the ceremony was Jay Monprode, who retired after 42 years with the RCDS family. A plaque was engraved with “Jay’s Garage” to officially name the maintenance garage in honor of Mr. Monprode’s diligence and tireless service to RCDS.

After the presentation of awards and diplomas, the Class of 2017 was joined by all in attendance to sing the Rumson school song, evoking goosebumps and triggering a few tears among the crowd. “We love that school, loyal will our hearts e’er be,” they sang during the emotional sendoff.

The Class of 2017 plans to attend the following secondary schools: Blair Academy, Christian Brothers Academy, Delbarton School, Florida Preparatory Academy, Holmdel High School, Marine Academy of Science and Technology, NY iSchool, Phillips Academy – Andover, Ranney School, Red Bank Catholic High School, Red Bank Regional High School, Rumson-Fair Haven High School, Salisbury School, and Trinity Hall.