29th Annual Rose Ceremony the class of 2020 & the class of 2031

A smile, a hug, the exchange of a rose. These simple, yet profound, gestures were shared between Sleepy Hollow High School seniors and W.L. Morse first-graders at the 29th Annual Rose ceremony. The event allows the seniors to officially welcome the younger students to the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns.

On Oct. 8, the first-graders entered the SHHS auditorium anticipating what would happen next. Seniors reminisced about the years that have gone by.

Senior and Executive Board Vice President Sarah Laub told the younger students to get ready for the vast experiences that await them over the next 11 years and that, given the opportunity, she would go back in time to begin the journey again.

“You are about to begin a long road of learning, discovering and creativity that you will remember for the rest of your lives. Get ready to join new clubs and sports and to form new friendships that will last a lifetime,” she said. Students Tess Kaplan, Eliza Mastropieri and Casey McDonough led the audience in the Star Spangled Banner and Sleepy Hollow Alma Mater.

SHHS Principal Dr. Tracy Smith explained the significance of the day. “Today we commemorate their first major steps they take as they begin their educational journeys. This is also a special time for our seniors as they reflect on their high school experiences and wish our first-graders much success,” said Dr. Smith.

A poignant moment during the ceremony occurred when the Sleepy Hollow High School Chorus sang the song, “Child of Tomorrow,” encouraging the children to go forth and follow their dreams.

Before the students crossed the stage, Morse Principal Torrance Walley presented the class of 2031 to the Class of 2020. “Now it is your turn Morse first-graders. You will embark on the same journey to grow and learn and develop into your own person. In 11 years, you will be ready to move into the next chapter of your life.”

Each first-grader crossed the stage and then received a rose and t-shirt from a Sleepy Hollow senior.

As seniors Samantha Livingston and Grace Ryan presented their roses they realized how they have come full circle. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” commented Livingston. “It is surreal. This is one of the sweetest things that they do at Sleepy Hollow.”

In the Spring, the first- and twelfth-graders will reconvene as the first-graders present a rose to the seniors. Principal Walley offered them words to remember as they move through their year, and beyond. “Remember, when you are kind to others, others will be kind back.”

Congratulations and good luck to the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2031.

Photos by: Susan Rossi; Edited by: Grace Noone