As the (MHS) Class of 2012 prepares to shed their former identities as high school students tonight, moving on to the next phase of their almost-adult lives, both Sarah Blunt and David Cruikshank will address their peers, taking note of the challenges, learning experiences and relationships that defined their four years at MHS.
Blunt—who was pulled into the principal’s office a few weeks ago unsuspectingly and told she was the 2012 valedictorian—said it all came as a surprise.
“There have been rumors, but I was still surprised. I really didn’t expect it,” she said.
For Cruikshank, the announcement that he was to be salutatorian was less shocking but similarly exciting.
“I was not entirely surprised—I had some idea,” he said, continuing, “I was extremely thrilled; it was really awesome.”
Cruikshank’s involvement at MHS included playing trombone in the jazz band and orchestra, acting in the and participating in the Chinese Club. He also has been a competitive figure skater since he was 11, competing at the 2012 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships as well as four U.S. Junior National Championships.
Blunt’s activities included cello, cross-country track and a self-professed love of science and math.
Both students have been accepted to Ivy League schools—Blunt will attend Brown University and Cruikshank is heading to Princeton in the fall—however, Blunt will be taking a gap year to intern at the Museum of Natural History in NYC before she settles into college life.
When asked what the best part of their high school career was—and the scariest part of leaving—both students mentioned their relationships with friends as the thing they would cherish and miss the most.
“I’ve lived in the same place my whole life; the problems that come up when you’re living alone are a challenge,” said Cruikshank about living away from home for the first time.
“The strangest part is that people I’ve known since I’m five, I’m not going to see on a daily basis,” said Blunt.
But high school has been a learning experience for both, shaping them into the people they are now.
“I’ve definitely made really close friends—that’ll be the thing that’ll last for me beyond high school and college. I’m definitely a different person coming out than when going in—you grow into yourself,” said Blunt.
“It’s been an incredibly learning experience, so many teachers and students who have taught me a lot and become my friends…I’ve had an amazing time and I’m really sad to leave there,” said Cruikshank.
Due to the heat advisory issued for Westchester County today until 8 p.m., the district is asking that people wear light clothing and bring bottled water to tonight's graduation ceremony. For those who cannot sit outside in the heat, limited air conditioned seating will be available in the Tiered Classroom; the graduation will be broadcast live. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m.