Thomas Kelly, head of the English department at the , said Wednesday that 67 graduating students were part of “an exceptionally difficult class.” He hastened to add that he meant this as a compliment, saying the seniors have asked challenging, intelligent questions that have helped to make him a better teacher.
“While it is traditional for students to thank their teachers, I have long felt that we are even more indebted to you,” said Kelly.
Kelly, who delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2012, said he was also indebted to a number of other people. He said his father impressed the value of education on him at a young age and worked with students into his 70s. Kelly said this no doubt influenced the decisions by his brother and himself to go into teaching.
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Kelly, who has taught at the Williams School for 22 years, also expressed appreciation for middle school teachers for their work instructing students that are sent on to high school.
“I am fairly confident today that I understand Hamlet. I will never understand middle schoolers,” Kelly joked.
Galina Smith, the senior class speaker, said each student will remember the school differently but that most will probably recall their time in the new senior lounge. She also thanked the faculty and staff at the school for their work.
“Their enthusiasm for teaching and learning is one of the money things they try to impart to us before we leave,” said Smith.
Head of School Mark Fader said the Class of 2012 has been “remarkable,” particularly in their choices of where to attend college. He posited that students are more willing to travel farther from Connecticut given the technological advances allowing for easy communication with home. He said the students will be attending colleges in 22 states.
Fader praised the class for their charitable work, including volunteering with the and . He also thanked the students for the opportunity to be part of their lives.
“I trust you know how much you’ve meant to all of us sitting here today,” he said.