Graduation 2008

posted Jul 9, 2009, 4:20 PM by Edward Mansager   [ updated Jul 9, 2009, 4:22 PM ]
St. John’s senior graduation ceremony was held on Thursday night, May 29. There were well over 100 people in attendance to honor the two graduates, Artur Gazaryan and Mikhail Yakovlev. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, the school’s Headmaster, spoke briefly about education and the Christian life, comparing them to a marathon race requiring perseverance and commitment. David Jepson, the Dean of the High School, also spoke briefly, quoting Shakespeare, Blake, Oscar Wilde, and a Greek monk named Elder Porphyrios in a passage that concluded: “Whoever wants to become a Christian must first become a poet.” After the graduates gave their brief speeches and the diplomas were handed out, there was a sumptuous banquet.

Next came the “final exam” for Artur and Mikhail:they led their dates out onto the dance floor for a waltz that lasted at least 5 minutes and was wonderfully choreographed, with the boys lifting up the girls and spinning around with them, getting on one knee with the girls twirling around them, etc.

(The old Russian tradition is that graduation from secondary school is seen as an entry into “society,” and hence, this formal dance by the graduates.) The remainder of the night saw both ethnic and contemporary dancing lasting well into the night.