Learning, persistence themes at Burr and Burton Academy commencement

This article by Cherise Madigan originally appeared June 10 in the Manchester Journal.

MANCHESTER — Education, and the responsibility that it imparts, was the underlying theme of Burr and Burton Academy’s 185th annual Commencement ceremony, held Friday night at the school’s Frelinghuysen Field.

Burr and Burton Academy

Burr and Burton Academy

Headmaster Mark Tashjian opened the ceremony by welcoming family and friends from near and far, before graduating senior Eric Vaughn took to the stage to perform The Star Spangled Banner on cello. Retiring English teacher and longtime soccer coach Peter Mull then shared the poem “Two Set Out on Their Journey” by Vermont Poet Laureate Galway Kinnell, “as an expression of our deepest desires and prayers” for the graduating class.

As Board of Trustees chair Seth Bongartz congratulated graduates on behalf of the board, he also took the opportunity to share his own path — interwoven with that of Burr and Burton — and lessons he’s learned along the way.

“When I graduated in 1972, Burr and Burton was much smaller but it was still a special place, because it served and cared deeply about its communities, and those communities recognized that and had a deep well of support for the school,” said Bongartz, noting improvements in disciplines like the creative arts, travel opportunities, and school infrastructure.

“Those connections, that two way loyalty between school and towns, has only deepened in the intervening years as the generous support of our communities, and generous support of donors, has made it possible for Burr and Burton to provide those opportunities and to open doors for students that nobody even dreamed of in 1972,” he said.

Read full article at the Manchester Journal.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Burr and Burton Academy

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