A winning tradition

Graduating Class of 2012 follows a path steeped in historical excellence

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Class Motto: “Out of what is today you are making your tomorrows”

The Red Hook High School Class of 2012 and their proud parents will gather on June 23 for Commencement on the front steps of the Linden Avenue Middle School.

So, too, did the Class of 1947 65 summers ago.

Judging from the illustration, the world then was a smaller, more insular place. Hawaii and Alaska had yet to become states and the sun was apparently shining only on the United States. It was slower, too, as the DC3 (the airliner of the day—propeller driven!) indicates. And obviously, we were a much-less diverse society.

Nevertheless, our graduating young faced the future resolutely, hand-in-hand. Poised but unsure, they embarked on the rite of passage that’s as old as the hills but as fresh as the morning dew. Perhaps they took heed from classmate Judith Hard’s valedictory address, “A Design for Living.”

1947 Commencement Program cover from the Jack Lewis Collection, Egbert Benson Historical Society.

Most likely, however, they just followed their noses, like the rest of us. But one thing is certain: they ventured forth prepared with the best possible education. That is what Red Hook has always demanded – and supported, to this day. As longtime New York Yankees (and Mets) manager Casey Stengel would intone, “You can look it up.”

This year as in the past, U.S. News & World Report ranks Red Hook Central High School one of the best high schools in the country – 221st out of 21,776! And it is one of only 68 schools to receive the coveted Gold Award. School superintendent Paul Finch notes this as part of “another banner year for the Red Hook Central School District,” which he rightfully credits to the “hard work of students, parents, and staff.”

And, year in, year out, to accomplishing the school district’s mission to: “develop in its students the knowledge, intellectual integrity, and social consciousness to prepare them to accept the obligations and opportunities found in a complex society. The District seeks to provide a challenging educational environment that fosters and rewards the values of respect, responsibility, honesty, integrity, and community service in all its members.”

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