The nearly 200 members of the Class of 2015 at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy paid tribute to a sense of togetherness as well as a beloved teacher at their commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 23, at the UIC Pavilion.
The 197 graduating PMSA seniors mixed pomp and circumstance and honor as they move on to a new chapter in their lives.
Brianna Earskine, a graduating PMSA senior, said that the class was a group of close friends who supported one another.
"My time at PMSA has taught me the true definition of togetherness," she said. "Whether it was ‘Black Out’ Day or seeing which class could scream the loudest, we never failed to cheer one another on."
Khushi Suri, a graduating PMSA senior, said that the class became closer as they grew.
"As a class, we’ve bonded in a manner none of us could have predicted," she said. "As the years have changed, so have we. We made lasting friendships, learned some valuable lessons, and gained a set of expectations that have provided us with the information and mindset that is required to go out and change the world."
PMSA’s ceremony was marked not with congratulating the graduates, but also paying tribute to Ms. Renee Braun, a PMSA English teacher who passed away in April. The tribute included appearances by Mr. Mark Langhamer, Ms. Braun’s husband, and Mr. Paul Braun, her brother. They were recognized during the ceremony.
"She loved everyone of you," Mr. Langhamer said. "I was so touched by the words of love and care by her students (found on her cell phone last week)."
Joseline Cano, a PMSA graduating senior, said that Ms. Braun had helped her feel more positive about herself with comments on an assignment two years ago.
"Mrs. Braun wasn’t the easiest of teachers, by subtle comments and glances you knew, you just knew, she cared," Joseline said. "I’ve done amazing things with my life, and they all began with a ‘You’re beautiful’ on the corner of a crumpled piece of paper. Thank you, Ms. Braun, and may you forever rest in peace."
For more photos of the PMSA graduation, please click here