On Saturday, June 2nd, CAISL's Senior Class 44 members took the stage for the last time as students. Graduation is one of the most looked forward event of the year, but nevertheless bittersweet for all those attending it.
More than a celebration marking the end of the school year, the American Graduation (often called Commencement) ceremony awards all seniors High School Diplomas, an official certification of achievement and recognition of their accomplishments. The American system of education, which leads to the American High School Diploma, validates independent thought, creativity, initiative, and leadership, as well as high academic achievement, which makes this ceremony even more special.
After the Anthems, Guang W. and Ana Sofia M. welcomed the class and guests to the ceremony, giving turn to Carina A. to introduce the keynote speaker. This year's keynote, The Honorable George E. Glass, U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, emphasized boldness as a quality all students should take with them through life.
Matilde A., 2018's class Valedictorian, followed and shared her treasured memories of school since her early childhood years, in a well-humored, yet moving, speech. Doing the class profile and the farewell, Catarina S., Sofia F.L., Ana Paula C.R., Maria Clara A. and António B. also evoked their school days memories, not forgetting to thank colleagues, teachers, staff and parents for their support in their journey to graduation day.
The musical moments were a highlight in this year's ceremony, with "The Graduation Song", a mashup of several rock and pop songs performed by Ana Raquel P., André A., Andrea B. and Leonor F. The High School Choir sang "We Can Dream" by Pinkzebra, accompanied by seniors Zhiyong Z. and Xiao Feng Z. on the cello and viola. Last, the whole graduating class sang "On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons, bringing cheerful smiles to the audience.
Besides the all-important High School Diploma, a few students received a distinction for their work in specific education areas. Mr. Andrews presented the Top Scholar Award to Miguel D. and Ana Raquel P., having the latter also received the Portuguese Language and Literature award given by Ms. Abrantes de Sousa, representing the American Club of Lisbon. Ana Sofia M. received the Community Service Award, given by Ms. Sara Ribeiro on behalf of the American Chamber of Commerce. Last, Ana Paula C.R. received the Fine Arts Award and Oscar L.C. and Carlota P.S. both received the Athletics Award.
CAISL's Director, Ms. Blannie Curtis, addressed the graduating class one last time, giving them some inspiring examples of people whose University or work plans ended up not going as expected, but that only made them discover new professional pathways. After that, Ms. Curtis officially presented the Class of 2018, causing a wave of warm applauses from the audience.
Congratulations Class of 2018!
For more pictures of this event, please follow this link.