In one sense, it’s been a lifetime coming. The young students at Byram Hills High School in Armonk have been preparing for their high school graduation not just for four years but far longer than that, growing and changing and expanding intellectually. Now, though, parents, loved ones, faculty, staff and other officials will gather to recognize their hard work as they leave behind what the Byram Hills school system had to offer and embark on their adult lives. Inside Armonk spoke to officials to get a better sense of what goes into preparing for the big day.
19 of June is when the seniors at Byram Hills High School will graduate, indoors at SUNY Purchase, a location Byram Hills Principal Chris Walsh said is “beautiful even in the worst weather.”
205 newly-minted high school graduates will take on the world. Declining enrollment is causing the population at many local high schools including Byram Hills to get slightly smaller.
1372 is the number of seats available in the hall at SUNY Purchase. The graduates, of course, will be seated on the stage. Custodians will work hard the day before and the day of the graduation in order to transport and set up risers, banners, diploma covers, and much more, according to Deepak Marwah, fine arts director at the school. Marwah helps manage logistics for the graduation. “There are a lot of moving parts,” he said.
5 is a big number for this long-awaited event; 5 speakers will address the crowd at the Byram Hills High School graduation: a valedictorian, a salutatorian, Walsh, Superintendent Jen Lamia and the president of the board of education,Robin Glat. The valedictorian and salutatorian will be determined late May, when final grades are released. “That gives them time to work on their addresses,” Walsh said. The ceremony is at 5 p.m.–and each family automatically gets 5 tickets to the event.
1 or 2 extra tickets may be had, though, depending on availability and how many requests for extra tickets come in, Walsh said. Many families have grandparents and other loved ones in town to celebrate.
97 percent and more of Byram Hills students will continue on to college – Walsh expects this year’s numbers to be close to 98 percent, but an exact number wasn’t available at press time.
4 years of fundraising by these seniors, who’ve helped with prom and graduation expenses and more, and now it’s time to present a class gift with the money they have remaining. “Last year it was a sign for our new Coffee Cafe,” Walsh said. “The year before, the class donated informational monitors for the hallway.” What’s coming from the Class of 2018? It’ll be a surprise, announced during the ceremony.
0 Regents diplomas will be awarded by Byram Hills. “We do what’s called a local diploma,” Walsh explained. “We feel like what we do is more advanced and more rigorous than a Regents diploma, but all of our students take all the Regents classes and go beyond that.”
23 AP classes are available at the alma mater of this year’s graduates, and other high-level learning opportunities such as a science research program, and in addition, a class called Perspectives in Literature, which is a two-period class that’s considered honors level.
11 months in advance, district residents are alerted of the next spring’s graduation dates when the district calendar is finalized and mailed.
45 sports teams of various levels and seasons are available at Byram Hills High School.
90 minutes or a bit more is the projected length of the graduation ceremony, with a lot packed in: besides the speeches and awarding of diplomas, there will be several pieces of music performed by the band and chorus, and the class gift presentation.
“We really take it seriously and we really think it’s important to present an event that represents all the hard work the students have put in over four years,” Walsh said.