Every year, high schools across the nation send off their graduating class into the next chapter of their lives with a graduation ceremony- the end of their four-year long journey. However, it is the group that leads those graduates into the ceremony that ultimately established a relationship with those seniors and succeed in helping them reach that graduation stage. That group is the four faculty marshals who have been nominated by the senior class to attend the ceremony.
This year, the four faculty members chosen for the position of faculty marshal include AP Government teacher Jeff Foster, AP Language and Composition teacher Donna Amelkin, Math teacher Katherine Gilliam, and English teacher Stacy Lippel. As faculty marshals, they will be leading the graduates into the ceremony and making sure all of the transitions run smoothly.
The faculty marshals are selected through a required online vote casted in by the graduating class that began on May 16 and ended on May 20. This vote was based on the amount of influence the teacher had on their lives and the quality of education they received in the course. For Lippel, this was her first time ever being honored with the position.
“I was really pleased that I go it since students vote for me and the benefit is that I see all my former students graduate and lead them into their futures,” Lippel said. “There are so many marshals at the ceremony, but to be one of the senior marshals voted in by the students is really quite an honor.”
Out of more than 200 faculty members, many consider the tradition of receiving one of the positions as a respected privilege. Faculty marshals have to be familiarized with the protocol and order of the commencement for the event.
“I was happy when I found out because I feel that is the greatest honor a teacher can be given at this school,”Amelkin said. It’s such an incredible honor because you are one of the four teachers chosen to have influenced the most seniors that are graduating. The benefit of it is the satisfaction that I feel that I have touched a lot of lives.”
With a graduating class of more than 700 students, it is a necessity for the faculties marshals to successfully guide the graduates during the beginning of the ceremony to their seats and inform them of when to both stand and sit.
“The other faculty marshals and I make sure all the students are lined up properly and that they know how to walk in, when to sit, and when to leave the exit,” Gilliam said. “Overall we have to make sure that everything flows during graduation. There are some benefits to it as I get to sit in the front, be closer to the graduating class. I have been a marshal for many years in a row now and I was a little surprised because I wasn’t expecting to get it this year since I didn’t think I knew that many seniors.”
This year’s graduation ceremony will take place on June 7th, and with the presence of MSD’s four faculty marshals, graduates will fully see their love, support, and dedication that they have for their students.
“I was so excited when I found out about the incredible group of teachers who will be the faculty marshals at graduation,” Senior Alex Kahn said. “I have has the pleasure to have most of them as my teacher and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to end my high school career with all of them standing with the rest of the graduates and I.”
The role of the court marshals is very important as they not only assist in the procedure of graduation but also set the etiquette for our graduates as they leave the nest.