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Commencement & Alumni Reunion 2018 Celebrated

Annual end-of-year special events for seniors and D-E alumni, including Commencement and Reunion, took place last weekend, June 1-3, 2018, and held up to D-E School tradition by offering some of the most celebratory and memorable experiences of the school year. 

On Sunday, June 3, Commencement was held for the D-E Class of 2018.  117 seniors were awarded diplomas by Head of School Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett, Upper School Principal Joseph Algrant, Class of 2018 Dean Kim Lalli, and Board of Trustees President Ray Spitzley. The ceremony began at 10:00 a.m. to the sound of bagpipes and a color guard processional by all D-E faculty and staff members and Trustees. The soon-to-be graduates were led onto Leggett Field where approximately 1,200 D-E family members, friends, and guests awaited their arrival under a massive white tent, while the D-E Orchestra performed Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1."

Commencement ceremony keynote remarks were given by alumnus Aaron Dworkin ’93, President of National Network at After-School All-Stars, and a recipient of the School’s prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award (see below for details). The D-E Orchestra and Stage Band ensembles performed with solos by seniors including Alexandra Tarsinov ’18, who sang “Somewhere” from West Side Story*, and Nathan Song ’18 and Joey Viviano ’18, who joined vocal forces for “The Way You Look Tonight” by Fields and Kern. The Senior Jazz Rock Ensemble also performed "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Ashford and Simpson.

During the ceremony special readings and speeches were made by D-E School administrators and several members of the Class of 2018. Marwah Kiani ’18 and Jalen Watson ’18 provided reflective remarks and Henrique Neves ’18 read an excerpt by Albert Camus. Additionally, several seniors were recognized with special honors as follows: The Bailey Award was awarded to both Marwah Kiani ’18 and Amina Sadural ‘18; The Trustees’ Award was awarded to Henrique Neves ‘18; and The Senior Citizenship Prize was given to both Madeleine Kachikian ’18 and Jalen Watson ‘18.

Commencement concluded with the D-E Upper School Orchestra performing Respighi's "Ancient Aires and Dances" while a color guard of faculty/staff and Trustees started the recessional of the now-graduates onto Leggett Field. Graduates were each able to ring the Dwight-Englewood School ceremonial bell as they were greeted and welcomed. Congratulations to all our Class of 2018 graduates!

Alumni from the Dwight School, the Englewood School for Boys (ESB), and Dwight-Englewood School also gathered this past weekend for Reunion 2018, to celebrate milestone reunion years and in order to honor select alumni. The evening of Friday, June 1 kicked-off numerous special events on the D-E School campus and around the metro area. Dwight School and ESB alumni from the Classes of 1968 enjoyed a 50th Reunion Dinner hosted by Head of School Dr. De Jarnett in the Hajjar STEM Center.

On Saturday, June 2, alumni from the Classes of 1978, 1983, and 1988 gathered together with Head of School Dr. De Jarnett and Alumni Director Maria Sanchez Gardner ’78 in the lobby of the Modell’s Sports Complex to dedicate a new interactive display featuring all prior winners of the Bulldog Hall of Fame.

The 2018 D-E Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Aaron Dworkin ’93 and Isaac-Davy Aaronson ’98.The Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 1997 to pay special tribute to alumni of the Dwight School, the Englewood School for Boys (ESB), and D-E. The award is presented for exemplary professional and/or volunteer accomplishments. It honors alumni whose achievements deserve special recognition by the school and by fellow graduates.
As president of the National Network of After-School All-Stars (ASAS), Aaron Dworkin works to ensure program quality, collaboration, growth and sustainability amongst the ASAS chapters currently serving nearly 75,000 low income students in 400 Title I schools in 19 major markets across the US from Harlem to Honolulu. Aaron also leads ASAS government advocacy work and the national program department which offers chapters support with partnerships and evaluation. They are currently implementing the four national initiatives – We Are Ready middle to high school transition, CEO career exploration, Sports as a Hook health and fitness and Life Service Action. Aaron previously served as the first-ever ASAS National Program Director and is a frequent contributor to Youth Today and presenter at education conferences.
Aaron founded and directed Hoops & Leaders, a leadership training and mentoring program for low income youth in New York City. Aaron has also worked as Director of Strategic Development for the non-profit Coro New York Leadership Center and in the private sector as a public finance analyst for Moody’s Investors Service. Aaron is a graduate of Tufts University, a former Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and holds Masters Degrees in Education and Public Administration from Harvard University and Columbia University.
Isaac-Davy Aaronson ’98 has been Segment Producer for The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC since 2014 and during that time he has won two News & Documentary Emmy® Awards for Outstanding News Discussion & Analysis (“An American Disaster: The Crisis in Flint”); and Outstanding Live Interview: (“One-on-One with Kellyanne Conway”). Following his graduation from D-E Isaac-Davy received his BA in English and his MFA, both from Columbia University. His prior experience also includes working as a producer, reporter, and host for North Carolina Public Radio New York Public Radio - WNYC. 
Alumni were also inducted into the 2018 Hall of Fame, which was established in 1996 to honor those individuals who have achieved a high level of success during their careers as student athletes and coaches, or through significant contributions to the school’s athletic program. Its purpose is to perpetuate the memory of those who have brought distinction and excellence to the Dwight School, the Englewood School for Boys, and the Dwight-Englewood School. Remarks were made on behalf of Hall of Fame inductees Alison Désir ’03,  Coach Karel “Charlie” Lender (posthumously honored), and the 1987 and 1988 D-E Field Hockey Teams. 

From 1999 to 2003, Alison Désir ’03 received 11 varsity letters in soccer, winter track, and spring track. During that time she also was named recipient of the Cookman Award, the Bolling Award, and the Ann Hardy Award. Up until this year, she held the D-E School record for Girls 400 Meter Hurdles, and she was the Spring Track 400 meter hurdles State Non-Public B Group Champion In 2017, Women’s Running named Alison as one of 20 women who are changing the sport of running and the world. She is also Founder of the Harlem Run and Run 4 all Women. Earlier this year she was featured in Under Armor’s 2018 global campaign, Unlike Any, which celebrates and honors the unprecedented achievements of female athletes that rise above gender comparisons and stand on their own as marvels of athletic prowess.
The late Coach Lender was a former Soccer, Hockey and Tennis Coach and Faculty member of ESB from 1958 to 1974. He was also the coach for the Englewood Field Hockey team made up of primarily ESB students. Under his coaching, the Athletic Hall of Fame 1965 and 1966 soccer teams excelled and had one of the longest winning streaks without any losses in the school’s history for soccer. The 1968 hockey team boasted a 16 to 1 won-loss record. Coach Lender was also the tennis “Pro” at the Englewood Field Club. By way of background, Charlie Lender was a gifted athlete. He represented Czechoslovakia on the Davis Cup team and in hockey and soccer at the 1956 Olympics in Brisbane, Australia. 
The 1987 Field Hockey Team had a 12-3-3 record. They were the MAAPS League Champion team and State Champion team (State A Independent) The team was led by Captains Jennifer Grodberg ’88 and Cathleen Kim ’88 and coached by Liz Traub and Rose Ann Byron ’80.
The 1988 Field Hockey Team continued the field hockey legendary era by winning the Bergen County Field Hockey championship. The team was captained by Randee Rubenstein ’88 and Amy Gambrill ‘89 and coached by Liz Traub and Edith Thurber
For more information about the 2018 Dwight-Englewood School Commencement and Reunion 2018 celebratory weekend, students and alumni honored, and the Class of 2018 Matriculation List  (click here to view), please contact D-E Director of Communications and Publications Liz Tausner at or 201-245-2897.
* Used with permission of Boosey & Hawkes. 
Located in Englewood, New Jersey, Dwight-Englewood is a greater New York City area private school with a rigorous college prep curriculum for boys and girls in preschool through grade 12.