Contact Us
Westport Daily Voice serves Weston & Westport

Menu

Westport Daily Voice serves Weston & Westport

Nearby Towns

schools

Staples Bids Goodbye To The Class Of 2016, And To The Superintendent, Too

Staples High holds its graduation Friday in Westport.
Staples High holds its graduation Friday in Westport. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation.
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
The graduation procession is led by faculty marshal Denise Honeycutt, the teacher with the longest continuous service at Staples High. To her right is Superintendent Elliott Landon, just above her is Interim Principal Mark Karagus.
The graduation procession is led by faculty marshal Denise Honeycutt, the teacher with the longest continuous service at Staples High. To her right is Superintendent Elliott Landon, just above her is Interim Principal Mark Karagus. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation.
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Interim Principal Mark Karagus speaks at the Staples High graduation on Friday afternoon.
Interim Principal Mark Karagus speaks at the Staples High graduation on Friday afternoon. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Diploma times for the seniors at Staples High School in Westport.
Diploma times for the seniors at Staples High School in Westport. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Valedictorian William Owen Andrews addresses his classmates in the Class of 2016 at the Staples High graduation.
Valedictorian William Owen Andrews addresses his classmates in the Class of 2016 at the Staples High graduation. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation.
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation.
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon speaks at his last Staples High graduation. He retires this summer.
Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon speaks at his last Staples High graduation. He retires this summer. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation.
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation.
Students have fun with their mortarboards at the Staples High graduation. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
From Staples High school — to the University of Connecticut.
From Staples High school — to the University of Connecticut. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
A welcoming banner at the Staples High graduation
A welcoming banner at the Staples High graduation Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Congratulations to the graduates at Staples High in Westport.
Congratulations to the graduates at Staples High in Westport. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs

WESTPORT, Conn. — “All Westport schools will be closed all day Monday, June 20:” Retiring Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon got a laugh and a round of applause for the start of his remarks at the 129th commencement exercises at Staples High School’s Field House on Friday afternoon.

Landon compared what life holds for the graduates to the resistance of the water faced by the crew that became the heroes of "Boys in the Boat," a recent bestseller about the incredible quest for a Gold Medal by young men prepping for the 1936 Olympics.

"Life will challenge your mind, heart and body, so you must be resilient, and learn and grow from adversity," said Landon, who is retiring after a 17-year run . Then he turned and said, "You gain power from your successes," and moved on, saying “make acts of kindness a priority."

Interim Principal Mark Karagus had opened the ceremony — following the processional accompanied by a superb version of Pomp and Circumstance by the school’s Concert Band — asking for a round of applause for the graduates. He then recognized the great many teachers who are retiring, “taking with them 350 years of contributions to Westport’s learning community.”

Class Valedictorian William Andrews offered the feature address. He complimented his fellow graduates, saying the class has a long list of noteworthy athletes, actors, singers, artists, intellectuals — and circus performers.

“There is no easy path through Staples,” Andrews said, and added “Staples offers a series of tests that is a series of tests, culminating in finals.”

He related a story that he said captured the essence of Staples. Walking behind two sophomores one day, he heard one say that he had to study for a chemistry test because “if I don’t get a good grade on the test, I’ll get a poor grade in the course. That will pull down my GPA, I won’t get into a good college, I won’t get into a good graduate school, so I won’t get a good job, and I won’t have the money I need to retire.”

“He’s a sophomore worrying about retirement 40 years from now,” Andrews said.

He added that many students feel they have to bring peace to Ecuador, and be able to ride a unicycle blindfolded on a tight rope, or their lives won’t be fulfilled.

The message he left was that Staples is a highly competitive and stress-inducing environment, one that can take away some of life’s enjoyment.

His advice, nevertheless, was “practice kindness toward those you like and those you don’t.”

Landon’s spoke next, then diplomas were awarded — and high school is now over for 489 new Staples alumni.

Welcome to

Westport Daily Voice!

Serves Weston & Westport

This is a one time message inviting you to keep in touch

Get important news about your town as it happens.