Graduation Speech - Rina Leah Davidson 2012
Good evening, honored guests, faculty, staff, families and 2012 graduates. On behalf of the Board of trustees, it is my pleasure to welcome you here tonight.
Yeshiva Atlanta takes great pride in its graduates, and this year’s class is no exception. With100% college and Israel program acceptance, 1,200+ volunteer and community service hours, 65 pages of Talmud, 120 English, math and science papers, nearly $200,000 of merit scholarship awards and2,086 visits to the senior lounge (ha!), this class is ready to complete their tour of service.
Historian Robert Caro said“Time equals truth. There is no one truth, but there are an awful lot of objective facts, and the more facts you manage to obtain, the closer you will come to whatever truth there is. Its very important to have enough time to ask all your questions.”
This observation was made in regards to the information age, but he could just have as easily been discussing the curriculum and environment at Yeshiva Atlanta high school.
Of course our teachers cover required course materials. But, that is merely the surface of the YA educational experience.
At YA, our students learn to read beyond the textbooks and to ask all of the relevant questions. In fact, you do more than ask the questions – you continually seek the answers.
The learning and social leadership skills you have obtained these past four years will serve you well as you go onto higher learning and community leadership.
YA continually strives to attract the finest and most accomplished faculty and staff. Our building may be aging, but our school is not. This past month, YA was unanimously approved for SAIS accreditation. I want to share the following remark from the accreditation report with you now:
The committee commends the dedicated and enthusiastic faculty who are student-centered and who take great pride in student achievement and in the school. The committee also notes the high level of collaboration and trust among students, faculty, administration, parents and the board.
A special thank you to Mr. Joel Rojek,Assistant Principal for General Studies, for spearheading this year long effort. We are appreciative for the leadership of Dr. Oberman this past year. His steady leadership and direction has ensured a year of focus and forward momentum both in the school and throughout the community. It is easy to see the example he sets for our students and the equal regard they have for him. I am confident this will continue into 2013 and beyond.
Equal to the YA faculty and staff are you, our YA families. After all, we would not be here if not for your firm and unyielding commitment to Jewish Day School education.
I thank you for your dedication and continued support.
Please do not think of tonight as the end of your high school tenure – rather, think of it as the beginning of your alumni term. After all, family ties are forever!
Fellow board member Arthur Kurtz put it most succinctly when he noted that there is no greater reward for board service than attending a YA graduation ceremony. Standing here before you tonight I realize how right he is. This group of young men and women, poised to collect their diplomas and exit stage left, are an amazing group with a long and impressive list of accomplishments.
It gives me tremendous pride to stand before you and be one of the first to offer congratulations to the class of 2012. My wish for you is that you always learn something new every day, continue to serve as fine role models and leaders in your future endeavors, and return home to visit your YA family on a regular basis.