There’s a real benefit to being a smaller school with lots of outdoor space when it comes to graduation in the time of COVID-19. Rocky Hill Country Day School’s 29 high school seniors were able to spread out in small family groups on the lawn in front of the Hopelands building. It was different – with face masks, no handshakes, and social distancing – yet very much the same since the lawn is the traditional site of graduation.

Christoff Bandele delivers the Senior Class Address at the graduation June 12.

“So what a year it’s been,” said Head of School Diane Rich in her address. “My goodness, who would have thought that when we started the year on this lawn for convocation as Rocky Hill Country Day School, with our ‘Think Outside’ t-shirts, that it would have turned out as it has? Who knew how far outside we’d have to think?! Yet here we are.”

Rich lauded the students for getting through a challenging spring and for completing their high school education but she also urged them to keep learning and listening, especially in this time of national conversation about race and injustice.

Graduate Isabella Robinson.

“Class of 2020, even as I celebrate all that you have accomplished here, let me also suggest that you’re not done refining that voice; you’re not done listening,” said Rich. “The fault lines created by isms – whether they be racism, elitism, … or even egotism –  they creep into relationships when we cease listening. It is only when we are listening that we gain understanding, and when we have understanding, then we can develop respect, and from respect can emerge trust – all of which deepens relationships and provides some inoculation against the ills we are facing today. So keep listening.”

Congratulations to the RHCDS Class of 2020, particularly EG residents Olivia Massotti, Cole Larimer, Paul Ritter, and Ashley Stevenson! 

RHCD Class of 2020

Rebecca Arabian, West Greenwich
Christoff Bandele, Pawtucket
Neha Basu, Barrington
Elsa Block, Coventry
Pascale Burnett, Jamestown
Zhaofan Chen, Jiangsu, China
Willa Geoghegan, Providence
George Kass, North Kingstown
Cole Larimer, East Greenwich
Maxwell Lehouiller, Saunderstown
Heyuan Ma, Liaoning, China
Olivia Massotti, East Greenwich
Nicholas McConnell, Newport
Cortlandt Meyerson, Kingston
Koral Piccoli, Jamestown
Benjamin Pogacar, Charlestown
Kobe Polley, Portsmouth
Ada Reveron, Jamestown
Paul Ritter, East Greenwich
Isabella Robinson, Providence
Ashley Stevenson, East Greenwich
Emma Stokes, Cumberland
Nanjin Wei, North Providence
Sam Weiler, West Greenwich
Eve Weiner, Providence
Zachary Wilson, Cranston
Changhe Wu, Hexi District China
Feier Wu, Zhejiang China
Andrew Zito, Charlestown