Our Town’s 22nd Annual Graduation Issue Part 3

By Joanne A Calitri   |   June 25, 2024
The Crane Country Day School 8th Grade Graduates (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Crane Country Day School Graduation

The Crane Country Day School 2024 Eight Grade Graduation – “Go Coyotes!” – was held on Wednesday, June 12, at 10:30 am. The walkway to the graduation setting on the sports lawn showcased pencil drawing portraits of the graduates on easels. Parents and families sat at round tables with formal centerpieces. 

Headmaster Joel Weiss welcomed everyone and heralded the start of the ceremony. Graduates entered to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” theme, taking their places on the stairs behind Weiss. 

Weiss began his opening remarks saying, “The school sits on 12 acres of land that we acknowledge belonged to the Chumash Indians who were here before us. We never take that for granted at Crane. The Class of 2024 is a particularly strong collection of students, and they did very well in terms of high school acceptances. We just celebrated them with an annual Crane tradition, a ‘Memories Video’ documenting their adventures at our school over the years. After showing the video, we were treated to a song performed by the “lifers,” students who have been at Crane since kindergarten, who recreated a moment from their first time onstage at Crane nine years ago – it was so moving. This is a powerful class, and we will miss them terribly!” 

He further lauded and thanked the parents for their partnership with Crane for their children’s education. With that, Weiss directed the students to sit with their parents, which is Crane’s recently established graduation tradition.

He then presented the following awards:

Headmaster’s Prize: Poppy Kono

Tower Achievement Award: Ella Murphy

Rose Bowl Award: Vida Wolstencroft

The Talia S. Klein Award: Lilly-Bee Butler and Chelsea Newlove

Each graduate was called up to the podium where vignettes about them were read by their teachers – Tamar Adegbile, Jennifer Bochsler, Louis Caron (’97), Matt DeGroot (’04), Alexis Fischer, Alexa Hughes, Kate Tannous,and Bea Trac.

Crane Country Day School Headmaster Joel Weiss with the 2024 graduates (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

After each vignette was read, Weiss presented the student with their diploma.

The teachers presented the Crane School pin to the grads, while Music Teacher Konrad Kono played “The Crane Song” by Norman Gimbel. Weiss officially declared the class as graduated. 

The Crane Country Day School 2024 Eight grade graduates are:

Shaia Bijan, Arden Ricks Blagden, Ryan Alynn Briggs, Emmanuel Richard Brine, Eliott Brun, Lilly-Bee Butler, Jude Paxton Wyatt Cooper, Lillie Louise Copus, Jasmin Dominguez Soriano, Luke Robert Donahue, Julien M. Drost, Cecilia Luciana Duarte, Bradley Duran, Elizabeth Sophie Edwards, Casey Hudson Engel, Alexander James Eustice, Stella McCarthy Frank, Caroline Emma Marie Gifford, Paulina Jo Hakan, Austin Hansen, Emerson Lee Hill, James Irving Kono, Poppy Grace Kono, Daniel David Kotler, Luke Evander Mackey, Maxwell Marino, Agatha Ivy McTigue, Mitra Beatrice Mehrabi, Alaia Grace Muller, Ella Aurora Murphy, Chelsea Ava Newlove, Amelia Lalya Salcedo Power, Coco Rautiola, Eve Lily Sheldon, James Tosh, Rex Anthony Wolf, Vida Lev Wolstencroft, and Alastair
James Ylvisaker

Montecito Union School Graduation

MUS 2024 graduates photo 1 of 2 (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

The Montecito Union School (MUS) Sixth Grade 2024 Graduation – “Go Mustangs!” – was held on Friday, June 14. The ceremony marked the return of graduation to the school auditorium following the renovations.

As per MUS tradition, the graduation started with the grads waiting to enter while a slide show with music showcasing their time at MUS was presented to the guests. The grads then entered to the song, “Simple Gifts” by Joseph Brackett Jr. taking their places up front on risers and standing for the entire ceremony. 

The welcome and Pledge of Allegiance were led by students David Coates and Jake Smith, and attendees were invited to sing with the graduates, “America the Beautiful.” 

Student addresses were by Gianna Leggio and Perry Rogers. They shared about what they learned most at MUS, such as being empowered, being hopeful, never forget to enjoy the journey, be kind, respectful and have integrity. They thanked MUS for “giving us an experience like no other school,” their teachers, staff, and parents. A microphone was passed around the students for their individual brief sentiments.

The students sang, “Children Will Listen” by Stephen Sondheim, led by Music Teacher Pam Herzog. The Strings Ensemble of students Gianna Leggio, Caia Posch, and Mags Ranii led by Music Teacher Ron Zecher on piano, performed “Pax.”

The Commencement Message was given individually and in unison by Superintendent Anthony Ranii andAssistantPrincipal Rusty Ito. Both are parents with a child graduating in this year’s class. They talked about how they saw the graduates in their many academic and school activities. In unison they said with emphasis the words, “gratitude and responsible risk,” with examples of advice. They concluded by saying, “Once a Mustang, always a Mustang. You are part of the MUS family. We are proud of you; you are prepared to positively impact the world.”

MUS 2024 graduates photo 2 of 2 (photo by Joanne A Calitri)

Ranii’s additional remarks for the graduates, “I want to sincerely congratulate the class of 2024! Not only has this class consistently shown the highest academic achievement, they are leaders who support each other and are already working to make the world a better place. The class of 2024 excelled in their student activism projects, were terrific in their 6th Grade Musical “Into the Woods,” made us all so proud during their Colonial Trip and went out of their way to connect with younger students here on campus. Their positive spirits, curious natures, and solid characters will serve them well in junior high and beyond. On behalf of the entire MUS staff, we wish them joy and continued success!”

The presentation of diplomas was by MUS Board President Susannah Osley, MUS Board VP Kim Crail, MUS Board members Jacqueline Duran and Jessica Smith; Ranii, Ito, and Principal Nick Bruski. After they received their diploma, they went cross stage to their teachers Kim Berman and Danielle Weill for a congratulatory hug. The ceremony concluded with the students singing the “MUS Graduation Song” by Kenny and Eva Loggins. A reception followed at the school.

The 2024 Sixth Grade MUS graduates are: 

Hunter Altansukh, Nolan Edward Ausanka-Crues, Camila Luna Belmonte, Charlie Blank, Arianna Jealissa Bow, Rylan Robert Boyle, Thatcher Owen Maguire Burkart, David D Coates, Abrah Claire Crooks, Liam Gerfen, Madsen Drake Hammond, Piper Herlihy, Brooke Yukiko Ito, Chase Jackson, Alessandra Brooke Jay, Maxi Keech, Gianna Grace Leggio, Elle Morgan McCrindle, Dylan McLean, Scofield McLean, Kellen James Merkey, Leah Mary Oakley, Sebastian Perez, Havana Pond, Caia Mary Posch, Montgomery Stiles Prince, Mags Ranii, Sophia Tatiana Roberts, Perry Caldwell Rogers, Charlotte Mary Rottman, Carter Robert Saunders, Jake Smith, Milla Estelle Smith, Brennan Shea Tenold, Gabrielle Waldinger, and Caylee Elizabeth Wilson.  


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