Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

63 Take Stage as Newest Graduates of St. Johns Country Day

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

63 Take Stage as Newest Graduates of St. Johns Country Day

Article excerpt

Byline: DEBRA W. BUEHN

A year of firsts for St. Johns Country Day School came to a close Thursday at its 2006 commencement exercises.

More than 1,000 friends and family members gathered at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts to watch the elegantly clad class of 2006 march onto the stage for the ceremonies. With the boys in white dinner jackets and the girls in white formal gowns -- the traditional garb for St. Johns graduates -- the 63 seniors stood together one last time as students of the private Orange Park college prep school.

Gregory Foster, who just completed his first year as headmaster of the school, told the audience that the class of 2006 was "filled with talented and spirited people."

"Each one has played some part, some time, in setting a tone, creating the conditions, building a school where quality can occur."

Among the "quality" highlights the class of 2006 achieved during the year were an accumulation of more than $1.1 million in scholarships, four National Merit finalists and four National Merit commended scholars. Some 43 members of the class qualified for the Florida Bright Futures scholarship program, and like the 1,506 St. Johns graduates who went before them, all members of the class were accepted to a college.

While many of the graduates will attend Florida schools for the next phase of their education, a number will be traveling out of state to such places as Stanford University, the University of Virginia, Notre Dame and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

During his remarks, Foster recognized a special guest -- Stephen Russey -- who retired in 2005 after nearly three decades as headmaster at St. Johns. Russey received a standing ovation from the graduating class and the audience.

"It was an honor to succeed Mr. Russey, who spent 29 years bringing St. Johns to its present prominence," Foster said after the ceremony. …

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