It was a beautiful, sunny day for The Rumson Country Day School’s eighth grade Class of 2014, as they arrived on the RCDS campus on June 6 for their Upper School Graduation. The 49 boys and girls came to school one last time dressed as every RCDS graduate before them — in navy jackets, white slacks and ties for the boys, and beautiful, long white gowns for the girls — but this ceremony was the second time the Class of 2014 gathered as a group that day.
Earlier that morning, the boys and girls participated in the annual Class Day, a longstanding and much anticipated tradition where RCDS students come to school on the last day dressed in formal dress code. Students were seated by class grade in the gymnasium with eighth graders being in the first row, seventh graders in the second, all the way to the Beginners (Kindergarten) in the last row. After a formal acknowledgement of their hard work by Headmaster Chad Small, each moved up a row to signify their promotion to the next grade. This year, Headmaster Small — who completes his final year at RCDS this month — became an honorary eighth grader and recessed down the center aisle for the last time. The school also honored (and surprised) Mr. Small with a moving video that celebrated his remarkable run as the school’s Head Gator for the past 25 years.
Bon Jovi guitarist and Jersey Shore music legend Bobby Bandiera (center) joined students Anthony Flora, Kyle Ward, Max Kyrillos, Glen Wise, James Ruggiero and Dillon Butler during the recent Rock Out for Sandy Ground Benefit Concert at Rumson Country Day School.
Press release from Rumson Country Day School
The afternoon of Sunday, April 27 was a warm and sunny spring day, but The Rumson Country Day School was also turning up the heat in the Blake Gymnasium, where 250 people assembled for a benefit rock concert. The student-driven benefit was the brainchild of RCDS eighth grader Max Kyrillos, who got the idea from the 12-12-12 relief concert in New York City. Together with a group of fellow RCDS classmates, the student volunteers planned the Students Rock Out for Sandy Ground Benefit Concert, organizing everything from concessions to crowd control, and raised more than $9,000.
Net proceeds will help the Sandy Ground Project to build 26 new playgrounds that are a living memorial to each victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Karen and Joe Burke from the Where Angels Play Foundation were at the event, as well as Mark Jones, Vice President of External Affairs for JCP&L, who presented a check for $1,500. Alumni parent, J. Robert Small, parent of Elizabeth Small ’12, generously offered a matching challenge grant of up to $1,000. Mr. Small started Helping Highlands Survivors, a charity organization that has worked closely with The Sandy Ground Project to raise funds for the Daniel Barden Playground in the Highlands.
Bobby Bandiera of Bon Jovi fame made a special appearance and gave the teen musicians the thrill of playing with a famous rock musician for a great cause. The noted guitarist was also part of another legendary New Jersey band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. The concert also featured two local teen bands including Max’s band, The Stone Bullets, and Ardvark Smile, a popular local band from Middletown and the musical duo of RCDS teacher Tom Scott and RCDS security officer Tom Mancuso.