Jun 112020

Amity Principal Anna Mahon

The COVID-19 pandemic destroyed many people’s livelihoods, hopes, and dreams, but it couldn’t stop the Amity High School administration from giving students a meaningful commencement ceremony.

It was hard for high schools to plan their ceremonies because the virus kept changing everything. First, the question was, “Will we be returning to school?”  then “Will we be able to get the entire class on the football field at once while keeping them at a safe distance?” and of course, “Will we be able to invite families and keep everyone at a safe distance?”

So many questions, so many rules and so little time. But somehow Amity did it. With many teachers all-in to make it a special day for the graduating seniors, the 2020 Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, June 10, ran like clockwork.

On Tuesday, a virtual ceremony was taped and streamed live at http://video.amityregion5.org/show?video=d293e7a41123

The virtual portion of the ceremony includes the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Junior Class President Isabella Pfannenbecker, followed by addresses from Mrs. Anna Mahon, Principal of ARHS, Dr. Jennifer Byars, Superintendent of School for Amity Regional School District #5, Mr. John Belfonti, Chairperson of the Board of Education, Jayson Hutchinson, Senior Class President, Martin Gnidula, chosen to address the class for outstanding extra-curricular achievement, Sophia Wang, chosen to address the class for outstanding academic achievement and Mrs. Jill LaPlante, Director of Counseling Services, to present the Amity Award of Excellence.

The ceremony found at http://video.amityregion5.org/show?video=d8807aa23a6f was available for everyone to see and It was seamless. 

We encourage the entire community to take the time to watch the ceremony and begin the commencement exercises of 2020 to honor this outstanding senior class.

The students and their families first arrived at the staging area at the Church-Our Lady of Assumption parking lot on Center Road at a designated time for their waves with car placards displayed on the passenger-side dashboard.

Cars were assembled upon entering the front parking lot of the church and exited out the back parking lot exit (to Rice Road) at the appointed time. Mrs. Jill LaPlante, Director of Counseling Services, as well as Amity Regional High School security and Woodbridge Police Dept. were on-hand at the church parking lot to help organize and send each wave.

After exiting the church parking lot, the caravan of students/families proceeded to the back gate of the high school campus. At the entry point, each car was given a program and one faculty message booklet per graduate. Cars will process through campus to the first station at the tennis court where teachers were waiting to cheer on the graduates.

The cars stopped at the top of the hill and Associate Principal Miguel Pickering took the names of the graduates then Groups of 4 graduates (up to 8 cars) were “released” from the first station and proceeded down the hill to the stop sign at the corner outside of the district offices.

Seth Davis, senior class advisor, Director of Athletics Ernie Goodwin, athletic trainer Kim Pearce, and Athletic Department Administrative Assistant Lori Bonney were stationed here, and if a student received an award or lettered in a sport, he or she would receive it here.

Davis took the graduates’ names and radioed ahead which place he or she would take in the lineup. Cars were held at station 2 to allow for the front of the building to clear. Then they would drive around to the bus loop in front of the school. 

There were 4 designated locations for diploma distribution. At the designated location, each graduate exited exit his/her car while wearing a mask and waited for Mrs. Mahon to announce his/her name.

After hearing his/her name, the graduate walked to the carpet, removed the mask, and posed for an official picture holding a diploma jacket. After the picture, the graduate returned the diploma jacket to a bin and the graduate picked up his/her diploma folder with the official documentation inside.

Graduates then listened for Supt. Byars’ turn of the tassel announcement and, after turning their tassels, returned to their vehicles and exited campus through the Newton Road front entrance.

Although unconventional, parents should appreciate the fact that for the first time ever they were allowed to be close enough to their children to actually see their faces when they graduated. Usually, they are seated in the stands packed like sardines hundreds of feet away.

Congratulations to all of the Amity Graduates, I’m so happy that you were able to have some kind of ceremony, to see your teachers again, and to share it intimately with your parents.

Great Job Amity Administration and teachers. I’ll see you next year.

The 2020 graduation ceremony concludes on July 7 with the final group of students receiving their diplomas(about 40 students chose this option). Orange Live will post more information on this event when it becomes available.




Amity Education Award of Distinction – Rosie Du

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Jun 202019

The wind really picked up and nearly carried my camera away as Jill LaPlante, Director of Counseling Services presented Harvard bound senior Rosie Du with the Amity Education Award of Distinction during the June 14, 2019 Commencement Ceremony in Woodbridge.

Rosie represented Amity High School with distinction indeed. She played Tennis, and an instrument, was a Link Crew leader, Editor In Chief of the school newspaper, and treasurer of the Student Government.

She worked very hard on her studies and will attend an Ivy League College in the Fall.

Rosie is an amazing young lady and will accomplish great things in the future.

Congratulations on earning this prestigious honor.

Here is a LINK to the video with a very windy background.


Amity Graduation Photos: Diplomas Names Gu – Mo

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Jun 192016

Here is another photo spread from the Amity Graduation. This one shows the graduates whose names begin with “Gu” to “Mo”

See if your photo is included.

Video: Amity Graduation — Outstanding Achievement – Extracurricular Clara Gamsu

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Jun 162016

IMG_0990The Amity High School Commencement Ceremony took place in Woodbridge on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

This is the second of three class speakers.

Clara Gamsu was chosen as the class’s Outstanding Achievement – Extracurricular speaker.

Click HERE for the video.

VIDEO: Amity Class President Kristin Zakoworotny Addresses Her Classmates

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Jun 232014

IMG_3116Amity Regional High School Class President Kristin Zakoworotny addresses her fellow graduates at the 2014 Commencement Ceremony on a beautiful spring day.

Here is a VIDEO of her entire presentation.

“We’ll always look good in black and gold and we wear it better than Daniel Hand High School.”

Amity Graduation: Eliza Dillaway’s Speech

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Jun 212013

Amity Class President Eliza Dillaway

Amity Class President Eliza Dillaway

Amity Class President Eliza Dillaway addresses her classmates for the very last time at the Amity Commencement Exercises at Amity High School on Friday, June 21.

Click HERE for video of her speech.

Jun 172012

submitted photo

Amity Principal Charles Britton provided the following information regarding the 2012 Amity High School Graduation.

The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2012 at Amity High School will take place, Friday, June 22 at 4 p.m.

Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held at the William E. Sim Athletic complex (Football field in back)

If it rains, the ceremony will take place in the gymnasium and be simulcast throughout the building.

The Superintendent will make the indoor/outdoor decision on graduation day.

Each senior will receive the following allotment of tickets:

• Two tickets accepted for the outdoor ceremony and the gym in case of rain.

• Four tickets accepted for the outdoor ceremony and designated indoor areas (lecture hall, cafeteria and auditorium) in case of rain.

On-campus parking will be limited to the graduates, (who must arrive by 2:30 p.m.) staff, and cars with an official state handicapped tag.

Everyone else (including reporters — sigh) must park off-campus and come to the field by shuttle bus.

The Church of the Assumption on Center Road is allowing the school to use its parking for the shuttle bus system. Arrive early to the shuttle sites.

Also, come prepared with sun block, water and sunglasses.

NOTE: Weather forecasters are predicting partly cloudy skies and high temp of 85 degrees. From past experience, my advice is to arrive early, find a shady (enough) spot and as Dr. Britton said, bring water – if not to drink then to pour over your head. You’ll need it.

If you forget your water bottle, don’t worry, the juniors will be selling water at graduation as a fund-raiser for their class.