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Amity’s 9-Minute Outdoor July Graduation Ceremony

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Jul 082020
 

Yes, that’s right, the 2020 Amity Graduation ceremony that took place on the football field on Tuesday morning was admittedly different than any other, but, it was well-planned and ran like clockwork.

About 34 students had signed up, but some did not attend for one reason or another.

Masks and social distancing were top priorities and each graduate and his or her parents were seated in their own little areas around the field.

To open it, School Principal Anna Mahon announced that the students had met all the requirements to receive their diplomas and then read off the names of the 28 students who chose to take advantage of this option (rather than last month’s drive-thru graduation event).

As their name was read, the student walked up to a table to retrieve his or her diploma. There was no presentation or hand-shaking, just grab and go.

The grads walked up the aisle to a waiting photographer to have their official portrait taken, then returned to their seats. No backflips victoriously raised hands or mad dashes to the fence to hug mom and dad. Just simply walking back to their seats.

(I apologize to one young man whose photo I did not get, you moved too fast and you were blurry)

Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Byars instructed the grads to move their tassels from the right to left and their graduation was official.

The entire ceremony took 9 minutes.

For health reasons, amid the pandemic, the traditional cap tossing was not permitted — what if someone picked up the wrong one? To add to how somber the ceremony was, there wasn’t one beach ball in sight. No bubbles either. Just well-behaved seniors sitting near their parents.

Congratulations to the Amity Administration for coming up with different options to make the final moments of the seniors’ final year special and as memorable as they could.

Finally, congratulations to the Class of 2020 for making the most of your most unusual senior year. Good Luck in all of your future endeavors.

 

Experience The Amity Graduation Right Now

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Jun 122020
 

On Wednesday, June 10, the Amity Class of 2020 was honored with a mix of the live and a virtual commencement ceremony.

The first portion of this video shows the usual congratulatory speech from the school principal and superintendent, then a variety of surprise guests, some Amity Alum: Connor Deane and Scott Feinberg for example as well as unexpected celebrities who wish the graduates well. The Class speakers, followed by Jill LaPlante presenting the Amity Award of Distinction to Yale-bound Danielle Lee. 

Then it’s time to see the graduates receive their diplomas in groups of four — this took place in shifts between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. that day.

It’s worth a mention to give credit to the chorus teacher who contacted her students and asked them to sing their parts of the National Anthem individually from their homes, then quickly spliced the whole thing together. It came out beautifully.

There are still about 40 Amity seniors who haven’t gotten their diplomas. They chose to graduate on the Football Field in small groups on July 7. We will provide more information on that event when it becomes available.

Amity Seniors WILL Get Their Graduation Ceremony

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Jun 092020
 

Sadly, we won’t see this moment in 2020, but the seniors will get their graduation ceremony.

The year 2020 is one of uncertainty and disappointment, especially for anyone with a loved one in the hospital or nursing home, business owners, Athletes of all ages, and High School Seniors.

Across the state, high school administrators have been struggling for months to find a way of honoring their graduates in a meaningful way so this once in a lifetime event will leave them with happy lasting memories.

Here’s what Amity Principal Anna Mahon, Amity Superintendent  Dr. Jennifer Byars and the rest of the administrators have planned:

Dear Amity Regional High School Community,

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 10, is our official date of graduation for the 2019-2020 school year. Due to the circumstances, the commencement exercises will begin this evening with a virtual ceremony, continue tomorrow with the majority of the senior class receiving their diplomas, continue to a radio recap of graduation on WPLR, 99.1 FM starting at 5:00 p.m. and conclude on July 7 with the final group of students receiving their diplomas.

The virtual portion of the ceremony will include the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Junior Class President Isabella Pfannenbecker, 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 can be found below and the livestream for tomorrow’s event also will be available. 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.

CT High School Musical Theater Awards Night – Guilford’s Sweeney Was King

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Jun 062017
 

We all love the Amity Spring Musicals, the singing, the dancing, the acting, lighting, sets, and music, but evidently, the judges for the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards (CHSMTA) thought that Guilford’s production of Sweeney Todd was just “this much” better.

Of its 13 nominations, including its eighth nomination for outstanding musical production, Amity took home one award and ONE very special recognition, but no trophy.

Our own Yuliya Faryna won the Outstanding Supporting Actress award for her role as Golde (the mother) in Fiddler on the Roof.

And CHSMTA founder Brett A. Bernardini took time out from the Outstanding Student Achievement announcements to recognize Amity’s Harrison Paek for his work in the Arts in Education Student Achievement category.

Even though Harrison didn’t receive an award, he did have an opportunity to make a very well thought out speech.

Maybe I’m just partial to our Amity students, but I believe Eric Greenbaum, Tevye from Fiddler on The Roof, brought the house down when he performed “If I Were A Rich Man.” Thunderous applause and a standing ovation followed his song. (Not all of the Lead Actor Nominees received the same awesome reaction). He is a winner in my eyes.

The cast performed the “dream” sequence, including the towering ghost, also getting a standing ovation from their peers and the entire audience.

What do they say, “It doesn’t matter if you win, just being nominated is enough.” (?)

Although we always hope for more, there was an awful lot of talent on the Palace Theater stage on Monday night and Amity was well represented. Principal Anna Mahon did a terrific job making an award presentation.

Congratulations to Yuliya and Harrison for your honors, and to everyone that won awards.

To the Amity Theater Department as a whole, congratulations on all of your nominations. You deserved every one.

Until next year.