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  • Writer's pictureJoseph F. Berenato

READ Preschool graduates class of 2021

READ Preschool’s 39th graduating class proceeded onto the field for graduation at 10:30 a.m. on May 22. Above: The students of READ Preschool’s 39th class sat on the field during commencement: (left to right) Angelo Simone, Charlotte Burdak, Dominic D’Agostino, Sophia D’Agostino, Chase Hovermale, Elle Branin, Hawken Duffy, Michael Wuillermin, Alaina Gregori, Aubrey Holte, Aengus Meehan, Mary Delfiandra, Meredith Fuscellaro and Grayson Sharkey (not pictured: Lorelei Good). Below, left: Lisa Seitles presented a graduation medallion to Angelo Simone, who wants to be a fireman when he grows up. Below, center: Charlotte Burdak told Sam Seitles that she wants to be a princess. Below, right: Dominic D’Agostino has high aspirations for his future as a mountain climber. For more photos, see the June 2, 2021 print edition. (THG/Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

READ Preschool held commencement for its 39th graduating class at 10:30 a.m. on May 22.

The ceremony began with the graduates processing onto the field to Sir Edward William Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.” Once the graduates took their seats, READ Preschool owners Sam and Lisa Seitles led them in the song “Hello, How Are You?” which they sang in English, Spanish and sign language.

During his welcoming remarks to the family of the graduates, Sam Seitles noted that this has been “quite the year.”

“Thank you so much to everyone for being patient and going along with all the guidelines that we had to go along with. We appreciate you so much. It might have been challenging for the teachers, but that didn’t change the kids at all, because I saw this kids coming every day with a smile on their face, ready to learn and ready to have a lot of fun,” Seitles said.

Seitles also noted the challenges and successes facing the teaching staff as they learned to cope with the strictures of the pandemic.

“If anyone out here is a teacher, you guys might remember what that first year of teaching is like. You have to find your teaching voice. There’s a lot of confusion, usually, but, it just so happens that the teachers we have here at READ just rocked it this year. This being their first year, and under these circumstances, they had to take on so much responsibility, and they did it like real professionals. Teachers, I want to thank you,” Seitles said.

Seitles then informed the crowd that READ Preschool has “a tradition here at graduation.”

“That’s talking about what we want to be when we grow up,” he said, as he and Lisa Seitles led the graduates in the song “When I Grow Up.”

Sam Seitles then called up each of the graduates to receive their commemorative medallion from Lisa Seitles. As he did so, he asked each student what they hope to be when they grow up, with answers ranging from firefighter to dancer to mountain climber.

After the awarding of medallions and presentation of graduates, Sam and Lisa Seitles led the students, teachers and parents in “We Love the R.E.A.D. Friends,” but paused halfway through the song.

“I have a question that’s been bothering me all day: who loves who more? Do the kids love the parents more, or, perhaps, do the parents love the READ friends more?” Sam Seitles asked of those gathered.

A contest was then held, with the volume of the respondents determining the winner.

After several rounds, Sam Seitles declared it a tie.

Sam Seitles followed up with a rendition of “Until We Meet Again (Goodbye Song),” from the Playhouse Disney series “Out of the Box,” then had one last instruction for the graduates.

The graduates turned their tassels to signify the end of commencement. (THG/Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

“My friends, that little hanging tassel thing? You can take it and put it on the other side of your hat,” he said.

The ceremony closed with the graduates joining their family and friends, all of whom were invited to enjoy donuts and juice.

The 2021 graduates from READ Preschool were: Elle Branin, Charlotte Burdak, Dominic D’Agostino, Sophia D’Agostino, Mary Delfiandra, Hawken Duffy, Meredith Fuscellaro, Lorelei Good, Alaina Gregori, Aubrey Holte, Chase Hovermale, Aengus Meehan, Grayson Sharkey, Angelo Simone and Michael Wuillermin.


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