Wye River Up­per School grad­u­ates 12 se­niors

Record Observer - - School -

CEN­TRE­VILLE — “Em­brace dis­com­fort. When I find my­self in a chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion I of­ten re­mind my­self that noth­ing ever gets accomplished when I am com­fort­able with where I am. If you want to suc­ceed at some­thing you must be will­ing to fail at it too.” Nevin Ha­mami, WRUS Class of 2018

This was the ad­vice that Wye River Up­per School se­nior Nevin Ha­mami shared with his 11 class­mates, fam­ily and friends dur­ing an evening Com­mence­ment on May 22, 2018. Ha­mami and two class­mates, Olivia Bai­ley of Dorch­ester County and Alex Kliever of Kent County, chose to speak dur­ing the Com­mence­ment, a tra­di­tion be­gun by the school in 2004.

An­other tra­di­tion of the school is for grad­u­ates to leave their seats and move into the au­di­ence to present in­di­vid­ual white roses to their im­me­di­ate fam­ily, as a ges­ture of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their years of sup­port. It is an ex­change marked by hugs and tears of joy.

But this year, it was the se­nior speak­ers who stole the show. Boxes of tis­sue were be­ing passed around and each of the three re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion.

Ha­mami re­sides in Arnold. He plans to re­turn to the Eastern Shore in the fall to at­tend Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege. An accomplished soc­cer ath­lete, Ha­mami will join his good friend and WRUS Alum­nus Matt Dono­hue (Class of 2017) to play for the Ch­e­sa­peake soc­cer team.

Olivia Bai­ley moved her au­di­ence to tears with a heart­felt look back as a WRUS stu­dent. Bai­ley pointed to her op­por­tu­nity to be cast in sev­eral the­ater pro­duc­tions and learn to play the vi­o­lin.

“Wye River gave me a place where I could be my­self. This school helped me find who I am, and gave me hope for my fu­ture,” she said.

Bai­ley will at­tend St. Mary’s Col­lege in the fall, where she will pur­sue her love of the­ater.

Alex Kliever re­flected upon his ex­pe­ri­ence earn­ing his Ea­gle Scout sta­tus with the Boy Scouts of Amer­ica and ad­vised his class­mates “... not to give up and to see your com­mit­ments through to the very end. I un­der­stand now that it takes in­tegrity … to fol­low through on what you set out to ac­com­plish.” Kliever has a de­tailed plan to at­tend Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege for two years and trans­fer to a fouryear de­gree pro­gram in pur­suit of en­gi­neer­ing course­work.

WRUS Board Chair­man Alexa Seip joined the 12 grad­u­ates, Head of School Chrissy Aull and Com­mence­ment speaker Parker Seip on the school’s small stage. “I speak for the Board of Trustees that to hear heart­felt speeches such as I heard this evening cap­tures the rea­son why we as vol­un­teers work dili­gently to make WRUS an op­tion for the com­mu­nity. All kids should learn and grow the way these 12 have,” Alexa Seip said.

Parker Seip of Char­lotte, NC, ad­dressed the Class of 2018 with an em­pha­sis that their Com­mence­ment marked the be­gin­ning of their adult lives as “smart peo­ple in pur­suit of their pas­sions.” His ad­vice to fol­low their pas­sion was high­lighted through his own ex­pe­ri­ence as a learn­ing-dif­fer­enced high school stu­dent at the Win­ston School in Cal­i­for­nia, where he suc­cess­fully com­bined aca­demics with his love of avi­a­tion. As a teenager, Seip earned a pi­lot’s li­cense and was soon in­struct­ing others to fly. Seip is em­ployed as a first of­fi­cer on a com­mer­cial Air­Bus with a ma­jor air­line.

Se­niors earned most of the school’s ma­jor awards, all of which are pre­sented at Com­mence­ment. The Thomas West Dig­i­tal Arts and Tech­nol­ogy Award, named af­ter Cen­tre­ville na­tive and au­thor Thomas West, was pre­sented by West to se­nior Will Haz­zard. Haz­zard will at­tend Sal­is­bury Univer­sity in the spring of 2019. The Stu­art M. Bounds Dual En­roll­ment Award recipient is Gra­sonville res­i­dent Sarah Franklin, who will at­tend Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege in the fall. The WRUS Port­fo­lio Award was pre­sented to Ha­mami for his out­stand­ing work in dig­i­tally cap­tur­ing his best aca­demic work through four years and pre­sent­ing same. Bai­ley and Franklin shared the Conner E. Bell Per­se­ver­ance Award. Named af­ter WRUS Alumni Conner Bell, this award is a col­lege scholarship, funded by his fam­ily, to rec­og­nize Conner’s per­se­ver­ance and suc­cess de­spite di­ag­nosed neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions.

The 2018 grad­u­ates will pur­sue a wide range of in­ter­ests and stud­ies fol­low­ing high school. One hun­dred per­cent of the class was ac­cepted to col­lege; 10 will at­tend; one has be­gun a small busi­ness; an­other is ar­rang­ing an in­tern­ship and course of study in equine sci­ence and care.

“This class ex­em­pli­fies the mis­sion and phi­los­o­phy of Wye River Up­per School,” said Aull. “We work to ready each stu­dent for col­lege and ca­reer, give them guid­ance and sup­port in their post high school choices and are proud of each grad­u­ate as they fol­low their in­ter­ests and pas­sions.”

Head of School Chrissy Aull ad­dresses the Wye River Up­per School Class of 2018, their fam­i­lies and friends dur­ing com­mence­ment ex­er­cises at the school in Cen­tre­ville.

Wye River Up­per School grad­u­ates present white roses and their thanks to their fam­i­lies and friends for their love and sup­port.

Com­mence­ment speaker Parker Seip and Wye River Up­per School Chair­man of the Board Alexa Seip make their way to the stage.

Olivia Bai­ley re­ceives the Conner E. Bell Per­se­ver­ance Award.

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