MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Jason Abel had a crucial role in Friday morning's Hommocks graduation ceremony, held in the Mamaroneck High School's McLain Auditorium.
Not only did he perform Stephen Schwartz's "Corner of the Sky" as a member of the Hommocks Singers, but, as an eighth grader with the letter A in his last name, he led his class' procession into the parent-packed auditorium. About an hour later, he would be the first name called.
"It's probably going to be hard because the high school is so big," said Abel, looking forward to the fall when he starts all over again.
Abel liked his experience at Hommocks, and said he will miss it. Perhaps Abel's most difficult task at the 10 a.m. graduation was following Dr. Seth Weitzman's long, pun-filled welcome address - he also played a long-version of the acronym game with the word Hommocks. Luckily for the math enthusiast, he had help from his classmates Rebecca Julie and Katherine Weiser, who delivered speeches before the Hommocks Signers took the stage.
Julie and Weiser were selected to give speeches by faculty, who allowed anyone who wanted to give a speech submit one and present it to them beforehand, rather than name a valedictorian and salutatorian.
Julie addressed how much had changed in just three years, not only for her 8th grade class, but also for the United States, which elected its first African-American president. Weiser stuck a similar chord, but also recalled her first day of sixth grade when Dr. Weitzman, "told me to make three friends that day; he didn't ask me, he told me to." She described walking through the halls that day and seeing so many new faces from the area's four elementary schools. Three years later, many of them are her friends.
The two student speakers also closed in a similar fashion. Julie quoted Mahatma Gandhi, who said: "You must be the change you want to see in the world." Whereas, Weiser quoted singer Natasha Bedingfield," who said: "I am unwritten, can't read my mind, i'm undefined."