Graduation rescheduled for Friday, June 12

Chidozie Nwabuebo, Sean Malhotra are valedictorians. Sara Kate Durkee named salutatorian.

(L-R) Seniors Sean Malhotra, Chidozie Nwabuebo and Sara Kate Durkee




Chidozie Nwabuebo, Sean Malhotra, and Sara Kate Durkee all have been working on their graduation speeches.

At least now, they know when they will be giving them.

Head of School Mr. Logan Bowlds announced Tuesday graduation has been rescheduled for Friday, June 12 in The Grady gymnasium at Stratford. The original date was Friday, May 22, at the Macon City Auditorium.

Having commencement ceremonies on campus has its advantages. It also presents some challenges. The seating capacity at the City Auditorium is 2,688. The Grady will seat 1,400 in its new bleachers, with additional seating on the floor for the graduates and Stratford faculty.

Mr. Bowlds said the school administration decided to proceed with caution to honor and recognize the 70 seniors in the Class of 2020.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our students, families, guests and staff, we are moving forward to host Stratford’s graduation on June 12,” Mr. Bowlds said in a letter to the parents of seni0rs. “It is our hope that this will allow for the additional restrictions for those 65+ (age 65 and older) to be lifted. Families of graduates should take into consideration that social distancing guidelines will be followed and seating capacity may be limited but we will have a graduation ceremony nonetheless.”

Last month, Chidozie  Sean and Sara Kate were notified by upper school principal Mrs. Theresa Ferrari about heir valedictorian and salutatorian achievements. They had the top GPAs in their class.

Chidozie and Sean are the valedictorians for the class of 2020 and Sara Kate is the salutatorian. 

At first, Sean didn’t know what to expect when he was contacted by Mrs. Ferrari.

“I thought I forgot to turn in an English paper again,” he said. 

All three said they were excited when they received the news.

“I have worked towards this goal all four years of high school,” Sara Kate said.

In order to attain this goal, they had to work hard these past four years and develop good study habits. 

“Some study tips I have are to do your work early so you can have time to revise it. Also, staying organized is very important,” Sara Kate said. 

Sean recommended students challenge themselves to achieve their goals. 

“My computer’s wallpaper is a picture of Kobe Bryant after his Achilles injury walking back on to the court to shoot his free throws,” he said. “That kind of ‘Mamba Mentality,’ to always finish anything I do with everything I’ve got, is always what I’ve reminded myself of whenever I wanted to quit or stop working.”

Similarly, Chidozie said students should not give up on an assignment just because it is difficult. He believes students should push themselves to overcome these types of challenges. 

Sara Kate will be attending Washington & Lee University in the fall while Chidozie is headed to Harvard University. Sean will enroll in the scholars program at Emory University.