St. Luke’s School grads told to appreciate the moment
NEW CANAAN — St. Luke’s School seniors got to enjoy something few students do during their high school graduation. Rather than being forgotten in a mass of graduates, Head of School Mark Davis, commented on each of the 77 graduating seniors individually during his welcome.
“Savor this day and your last moments together with teachers, parents, classmates,” he said. “You will never be together like this again.
The importance of appreciating the moment, humor and finding yourself were all emphasized to the students and their friends and family during the secular school’s commencement ceremony on June 2 in the school’s athletic center. Salutatorian Luke Martocchio shared some of his favorite moments as he looked back on his time at St. Luke’s.
“Before now becomes then, let’s freeze time for a moment and reflect on our time on the hill top,” the Harvard bound senior said before recalling the smell of the oranges his English teacher ate, the music his math teacher played and how it felt to wear his St. Luke’s jersey. The athlete and musical performer even shared some of his early poetry, something his fifth-grade teacher, Jane Olsen, encouraged.
“This nurturing environment is St. Luke’s,” he said. “We’re confident St. Luke’s School prepared us for our lives ahead.”
Valedictorian Grace Zaro referenced “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and used it to point out how humor can be used to battle even the toughest battles.
“Humor is not a copout,” said the future Stanford student. “It’s an advanced defense mechanism.”
Students also heard a parent address from David Verklin, father of three St. Luke’s graduates, including his daughter, Catherine, who was crossing the stage that day. Verklin shared a number of life lessons with students, including his introduction to public speaking during his “bookish upbringing” in Pittsburgh. Verklin was chosen by the students to address the senior class.
“I overcame my fears and surprise, surprise: I found I was good at it,” said the Boston Consulting Group member. “Public speaking ended up changing my life.”
He also told a story about Picasso carving a statue of a lion by chipping away the parts that “weren’t shaped like a lion” and encouraged students to take the same approach to their own life by exploring and chipping away by discovering what they don’t like.
“Figuring out life is not about having insight,” he said. “It’s induction and reduction.”
The graduates shared some final moments together, including singing a senior song which was “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield before walking out to a pipes recessional at the end of the ceremony.