Graduation Speech: Nicole Crivelli '21, SGA President

Good evening, trustees, faculty, friends, family and Facebook Live and welcome tonight as we celebrate the Class of 2021. Here we are, the most bittersweet day that we’ve all been waiting for. It's the end of an era at Tower Hill, whether you’ve been here for four or fourteen years, but it's also the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in your life. 

I’d like to start off by thanking Mrs. Speers, Mrs. Cover, Nurse Lexy and each and every person who made this year possible. In a year where students across the country were Zooming from their kitchen tables, we were here. The Tower Hill experience is unlike any other, and we certainly got the best pandemic-era senior year possible. Again, thank you. 

Class of 2021, here we are. In a few short minutes, we will be holding our very own green diplomas, etched with the names of official Tower Hill School Alums. Over the past four years, our class has become incredibly unified. While unified however, each person has kept their individuality. If you walked through the Carols at any time during the past nine months–our hallway turned Senior homeroom, that is– you would see a variety of 76 students doing what's unique to them. Billy throwing a tennis ball, Claire and Olivia solving the world’s problems, Archit watching basketball on his laptop. You would hear Shazi’s infectious laugh, John’s drum set, Alicia’s questions, or Dylan explaining everything from the previous class. Class of 2021, stay unique. I am sure we will leave a mark on Tower Hill, like the marks we left on the structural pole in room 138. While today marks our last official event as a Tower Hill Class, let’s think back to one of our first official events together, the preseason athletics kick off Dinner in the St. Amour garden. An underrated Tower Hill tradition–it was here where I first met the rest of my class, and the daunting three grades ahead of us. At that dinner, Mr. Kushkin played a video of Admiral McRaven’s commencement speech. We all know the speech, “if you want to change the world, start off with making your bed.” That’s really good advice, and there’s honestly no way I can top that. But Class of 2021, if not for you, but for your college roommate, learn to make your bed.

And to our teachers, there is absolutely no one like a Tower Hill teacher. Throughout our high school careers, they’ve been the people we can laugh with, cry with, and occasionally substitute therapy with. Whether they’re teaching us calculus, chemistry, federalism or rhetorical appeals, they never fail to show dedication to truth, and care for us students. In the fall of 2017, multiple faculty members came to Tower Hill with our class. To Mr. Cacciavillano, Mr. Hall, Mr. Haine, Dr. Matlin, Señor Osorio, Señor Pratt, Mrs. Rodrick-Williams and Mr. Shaw, you have grown with us throughout our high school experience, thank you and good luck now, without us. And to Mrs. Mumford and her team, who read each of our applications four years ago, thank you. We were your first class that you admitted into the high school, and I would say you did a pretty good job. Lastly, to Mr. Smith. While you came a couple of years before us … Thank you for sharing four years with us, congratulations, and good luck to you. Everyone in between, especially our Class Deans Mrs. Keith and Mrs. Yuros, a giant thank you for every little thing you did each and every day.

This past year, there were more questions than answers. We were all uncertain of what was to come. Well, here we are. We put on our masks, and we came back to school. It was different, but we did it together. We stood tall, six feet apart. Every daily checkup, every Covid update. Class of 2021, you are resilient. You have navigated uncharted waters with grit and grace. I am proud to be a part of a group so special. A group so welcoming that has grown over the past fourteen years, with students entering in first, sixth, ninth, or eleventh grade. Here we stand at the end of the road united on one stage. Spend a moment with your family during this time, to sincerely thank them for every sacrifice they made for you. 

We did it, Class of 2021. Go out into the world, and share your individuality, but do not forget the home you made here at Tower Hill. Thank you.