Congratulations on the upcoming graduation of your son or daughter. The Westhill High School Class of 2016 will have their Commencement ceremony on Wednesday, June 15 at 6:00pm (rain or shine). I am proud to announce our Commencement Speaker will be Dave Dresden, a 1988 graduate of Westhill High School. Dave Dresden has spent the last 27 years in the music business. First, as a local DJ around town at private parties, to the best clubs in the tri-state area, to an international music success story as 1/2 of the trance duo Gabriel & Dresden. Together with his partner Josh Gabriel, they had 23 tracks go to #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart, won numerous IDMA awards including “Best American DJ’s” twice. Their music has been featured in Nip/Tuck, The OC, Entourage and most recently Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Dave is making his return to Westhill to talk to the graduates on how he was able to make it in such a competitive world and enlighten them on the possibilities life has to offer.
A few important details:
As always, please note that there is no rain date, so weather permitting, our 6:00pm ceremony will be held in the Walter J. Kennedy Athletic Stadium. In the event of heavy rain or storm conditions, our ceremony will take place in the school’s gymnasium. For an inside graduation, each graduate is given two (2) rain tickets for gymnasium seating. There are no exceptions to this arrangement. Tickets will be distributed with caps and gowns at our second graduation rehearsal on June 14.
Rain or shine, all graduates are required to report to the gymnasium by 5:00pm on June 15. The ceremony will also be available live via video in our school auditorium. The auditorium is air-conditioned, which may suit some guests better if the temperature is very hot. Any family that requires handicap parking is asked to register with my secretary, Mrs. Alison Corbo, at (203)-977-4838. State issued handicap permits must be displayed along with the Westhill issued handicap permit in order to park in this designated area.
Please partner with me to be sure that our graduates conduct themselves with utmost dignity during the ceremony. I would want nothing to impact negatively on our school at what should be such a memorable event. Please remember that graduation is a ceremony and there will be time to celebrate AFTER the event. I expect the ceremony to be about 1-1/4 hours.
Graduation marks achievement. It is a public announcement that those who are receiving a Westhill High School diploma have earned the recognition due a high school graduate. The cap and gown worn by each graduate is a mark of distinction. I am asking that each graduate adhere to the following procedures:
- Treat all speakers with respect.
- Dress appropriately. No shorts, sneakers or sandals. Gowns are to be closed during the ceremony.
- Graduates are not permitted to bring any items to the ceremony, i.e., horns, bubbles, beach balls, etc.
- Parents are encouraged to advise their graduate about the potential dangers of partying before the ceremony. When it is obvious that a graduate is under the influence of alcohol, that individual will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.
- Graduation rehearsals are scheduled for Monday, June 13, at 10:00am and Tuesday, June 14, at 8:00am. Graduates are required to attend both rehearsals unless there is an exception made by the Principal.
- The Westhill Parent Teacher Student Organization will provide brunch in the courtyard after the Tuesday practice for graduating seniors.
- Finally, no senior will be issued a diploma until all financial obligations are taken care of – that is all books and/or uniforms/equipment and elevator keys not returned, going back to freshman year, must be paid for. Multiple statements of outstanding item(s) due were sent home during the school year.
Please note - parking will continue to be a challenge at this major event. Parking will be available both at St. Leo’s and Temple Beth El with a bus shuttle to the school. Please be cautious and do not block any driveways in the neighborhood of the school.
In closing, the Class of 2016 is an extraordinary one with many academic accomplishments, but also with many significant community contributions.