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Senior Investiture 2022

This week, the US came together to formally recognize the senior class as the guides and leaders of the entire student body of CSN.  Click here for photos of that day.

The Senior Investiture honoring the Class of 2023 was held on Wednesday with parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and the rest of the US student body looking on. This ceremony, which has been a tradition at CSN since its first full senior class in 1996, formally presents the members of the class as they accept their mantle of leadership and their position as role models for the entire school. In his introduction, Dr. Watson addressed this year’s seniors, saying, “Seek out people who are different from you. Take strength from that. Learn from the life experiences of your classmates and teachers. And have the courage to express your own convictions. Weigh in on the important topics of the day, but always keep an open mind to alternative viewpoints. It is fair to say that if you never change your mind on any topic, then you are not growing and learning.” 

Next at the podium, Dr. Johnson singled out the 14 students in this class who are lifers, those who have been at CSN for at least 13 years.  He then added, “Of course, many of you joined CSN after kindergarten, and whether you have attended CSN for 13 years or just a few months, you are all members of the Class of 2023. The 97 of you make up the one and only Class of 2023 CSN will ever graduate, and it wouldn’t be complete without each and every one of you here today…97 graduates will be the most seniors CSN has ever graduated, blowing past the previous record of 88 in the Class of 2021.” 

Before Senior Class President Charles Rubin introduced Lily Dounchis to deliver her lifer remarks, Dr. Johnson welcomed Director of Athletic Operations Coach Chung for a special moment. Lily was the individual State Champion at last year’s tennis competition, and also played in the doubles final, so Coach Chung took this opportunity to present her with her State Champion ring. He also showed her school banner, which will hang in the Moe Kent Family Field House for all time. Lily graciously accepted a huge round of applause before segueing into the story of her lifer experiences:

“Thirteen years ago, we looked out the windows in Ms. Kenner and Ms. Goldzak’s rooms and hid under the tiny desks as the US giants walked in for Buddy Day. Scared of the older students that tripled us in size, we listened to Ms. Kenner console us by saying how it would all fly by in an instant, and that we would soon stand 5-6 feet tall just like them. Well, last week was Buddy Day, and now we are those friendly giants. It's our turn to push our little buddies on the swing set and show them how to color inside the lines. In a span of 13 years, the world has completely altered. However, the 14 of us lifers have stayed together through all of the learning experiences and development here at CSN.” 

Her remarks were followed by a CSN tradition, when the seniors chose three adjectives that they felt best described their “singular identity.”  The words selected this year were funny, driven and unique, and were humorously explained by Sophie Sinberg, Gabe Caito and Ariella Levine by taking us on a tour of their years at CSN.

This year’s alumna speaker was Ms. Caroline Ridgway ‘98, whose father Tony, our school’s first Board President, was in the audience! She was introduced by Dr. Norkeliunas, who worked closely with her on the school’s 40th anniversary celebration. Among Caroline’s professional accomplishments, she “successfully led national legislative and regulatory strategies for an emerging sector of the healthcare industry; has been the editor of an online journal about social innovations, a textbook, and a cookbook; and founded her own communications company.” Addressing the Class of 2023, Caroline spoke about how CSN prepared her for her life’s journey, and how today’s seniors should always look within themselves for their true purpose.

In conclusion, Dr. Johnson thanked all these speakers, and said, “Having Senior Investiture just before Thanksgiving is particularly fitting, and I am especially thankful for the Class of 2023 being driven, unique, and funny.”  He added, “This group of seniors is no stranger to adversity, having navigated a high school journey that included shutdown, quarantine, masks, AHL (god rest its soul), a topsy-turvy Junior Experience, and just a few weeks ago, a devastating hurricane. But no matter the obstacle, you rise to the occasion, look after one another, and persevere through the challenge. Class of 2023: you are an exceptional group of individuals, and with you as the student leaders of our school, we are going to have an incredible year. Thank you for sharing your lives with our school community.”

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