Anacapa Graduation Says It Loud and Clear: We’re a Small School with a Big Heart!


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As much as any Anacapa tradition, Anacapa School’s annual commencement and all-school awards ceremony speaks volumes about the small school with a big heart. Almost every student—from grades 7 through 12—comes to wish the graduates good luck and bid them farewell while parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends “pack the house” each year.

This year’s graduation on Friday, June 12 moved to a new venue, Casa de la Guerra. “We were delighted to be holding our commencement ceremony in the school’s historic downtown neighborhood that Anacapa students know so well,” said Anacapa headmaster Gordon Sichi.

The evening’s festivities began with a courtyard reception for graduates and guests. Then before the spotlight shone on the fifteen seniors, the accomplishments of the entire student body were celebrated during the awards portion of the program. Many students made their way to the stage as second semester honor rolls were announced and teachers presented academic achievement awards in each discipline.

Three special presentations were also made. The Jessica Bower Volunteer of the Year award was presented to sophomore Elena Alcerro while Karen Bernstein and Candi Corbani shared honors with the Parent Outstanding Service award. The school’s prestigious Spirit of Anacapa award recognized two seniors, Lottie Johnston and Rufus O’Dea, and two faculty members, Spanish and music teacher Hugo Macario and science teacher Megan Nesland.

The evening took on an especially lively and celebratory tone as the graduates marched onto the stage in their colorful caps and gowns. Each graduating class at Anacapa chooses the color of their regalia, and the Class of 2015 opted for a rainbow of colors—from black and white to red, gold, purple, green, blue, orange, and burgundy.

The centerpiece of the graduation program—and the feature that most consistently impresses everyone—was the talk by each graduate. Having had many public-speaking opportunities during their years at Anacapa, the graduates spoke confidently and in their own voice—with their individual personalities shining through.

In commenting on the Class of 2015, headmaster Gordon Sichi said, “This year’s senior class is a diverse and accomplished group. The faculty and I are proud of their achievements as they prepare to head off in many directions next fall: UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, College of the Atlantic, Santa Barbara City College, Penn State, University of Arizona, Agnes Scott College, City College of San Francisco, and California Lutheran University, as well as George Brown College School of Performing Arts (Canada) and St. Andrews University (Scotland). We look forward to following them as they move on from their productive years at Anacapa.”