News Archive


Marking 10th Commencement
Posted 05/25/2018 12:24AM

Congratulations Class of 2018

Carrollwood Day School proudly celebrated its 10th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20, 2018.  

Class of 2018

Graduation weekend kicked off on Friday night with CDS’s traditional Senior Honoring Reception. More than 400 family members and close friends of the Class of 2018 gathered with the graduating seniors and their teachers to reflect on their journey through CDS. With the growth of the high schoo,l this event has added new traditions over the years. Special additions to this year’s event were musical performances by the Upper School Music Club and the Upper School Singers and a presentation by two graduating seniors, Kendel S. and Emily P. Director of College Counseling, Joe Runge, congratulated the class on their college acceptances and scholarships; 100% of the Class of 2018 has received an offer of admission from a college or university and the class has been offered more than $9M in scholarships. Other special moments included a slide show sharing childhood and high school memories, message on behalf of the senior class advisors, and presentation of the IB Awards. These awards are presented to the students that best exemplify each of the IB Profile Traits. Congratulations to the 2018 IB Award winners:

  • Inquirer – Mathias H.
  • Knowledgeable – Jake F.
  • Thinker – Thomas H.
  • Communicator – Gabby Q.
  • Principled – Luke J.
  • Open Minded – Krissy L.
  • Caring – Julia L.
  • Risk Taker – Rachel S.
  • Balanced – Alec G.
  • Reflective – McKenna B.

With 61 graduates, the commencement ceremony was moved to the Hayes Family Gymnasium this year. On Sunday, the gym was filled nearly to capacity with family, friends, faculty, students, and alumni to honor the Class of 2018. This remarkable class of 61 graduates includes 15 students who have attended CDS for at least 10 years, with three Patriots that started CDS as toddlers.

The commencement ceremony opened with a moving a cappella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by junior, Kendra S. Presiding over her first commencement ceremony as Head of the CDS Upper School, Sara Rubinstein addressed the Class of 2018, “I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive, talented and unique group of individuals to occupy the place of leadership in the student body than this one. From day one you have demonstrated character and commitment to academics, to athletics, to the arts, and most importantly to each other. You will also have a special place in my heart as my first class of Patriots and I am so proud of all you have accomplished.”

In his message to the graduates, Dr. Ryan Kelly challenged the class of 2018 to leverage their experience at CDS to become real life super heroes. “You have already left your mark and raised the bar at CDS. Now go forth and be the power for good in all you do.”

The Patriot Award is Carrollwood Day School’s highest student honor and is presented to the graduating senior who best demonstrates the qualities that exemplify the ideals of Carrollwood Day School: excellence in scholarship; strong performance and moral character; leadership; and service. The 2018 recipient of the Patriot Award is Kendel S., a CDS “lifer” who held countless leadership positions academically, athletically, and socially and is seen as a positive role model for the CDS community.

This year’s class was distinguished by having two salutatorians, McKenna B. and Madeleine S. Speaking first, McKenna recognized the outstanding accomplishments of the Class of 2018 and acknowledged that as a class they did not reach their goals and achieve so many accomplishments on their own. “Our vast amount of achievements is due to the help, guidance, and support from the CDS community. No matter if you have been here 15 years or as short as 2 years, the school community has shaped us into the people we are today and has given us the tools we need to reach our goals and be successful in the next stage of our lives.” Madeleine shared her enthusiasm for the opportunities that await them as they head off to college. She encouraged her classmates to expand their horizons and not wait for opportunities to come to them. “We all just survived the IB programme. We have the ability to live our lives to the fullest moving forward because IB was the impossible – but that didn’t stop us. Surround yourself with people that inspire you to grow and pay it forward by encouraging others to test their limits. Leave this gym today proud of what you have accomplished and eager to write the next chapter in your lives.”

CDS was honored to have Donna Orem, Executive Director of National Association of Independent Schools (FCIS) as our commencement speaker this year. Ms. Orem urged the graduates to answer the question, “How will I choose to lead my life?” They should identify what they feel most strongly about in their authentic self. What will be their 100% rule? A promise they make to themselves that will define who they are and that they will never compromise. “One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”

The final speaker was Jake F., valedictorian for the Class of 2018.  A CDS Patriot since he was 3-years-old, Jake spoke to the complications in life reminiscing about lessons of hope and positivity he learned from the play, I’ll Never See Another Butterfly. “Live often felt like a series of problems with out solutions, but I think that what’s most important is that we smiled. In the face of complications, we smiled. Looking back today we smiled, and for years to come I believe we will do the same… Complications are ever changing and a constant in life. The only thing we can do is to persist with them. So keep smiling in the face of adversity, look for what makes us human, find joy in the little things, find the happiness amidst the sadness, the good amidst the evil, the calm amidst the chaos. Find your butterfly.”

Assistant Principal, John Horsington, announced the graduates for the presentation of their diplomas. The first students to graduate were the 10-year and longer Patriots who also received a small memento comemorated their years at CDS. Following the awarding of the diplomas, Jake F., student council president, led the class in the tassel ceremony and the class processed out through a receiving line of faculty from the ECC through high school. “Rained in” for the first time in school history, the Class of 2018 assembled for the traditional cap toss next to the stage in the front of the gym.

Congratulations to all our graduates! They will be missed at CDS but we look forward to hearing of their future contributions and accomplishments!

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