When Gabriel Baraban heads to Princeton in the fall, he will take with him memories of cross country meets and teammates, and of the small, intimate classes at his alma mater, Shoshana S. Cardin School.
"I'm going to miss everyone here," he said before his graduation ceremony Friday. "They're all entertaining in their own ways. It's a really close-knit community."
Baraban, president of Cardin's student government association, and a member of the cross country team, was among the 22 students to graduate during the ceremony held at Temple Oheb Shalom.
Students came together from public and private schools, as well as homeschooling to form the Class of 2011.
Next fall, Zevi Lowenber will attend West Virginia University where he plans to study criminology, a program that trains him for criminal investigations as well as some forensics, he said.
There, he'll be a member of the Air Force ROTC.
"I will miss the relaxed nature here," the Cardin crew team member and theater technician said. "Because we are a small school, we are all close."
Shira Glushakow-Smith wants to help cure disease through a career in biological research and virology, so she will study biology and computer science at Towson University.
"I'll miss the people and the close community and good relationships with everybody. Here, you know everybody and the teachers are always willing to help."
Dennis Rothouse defines that closeness as "the ability to walk up to anyone—a faculty member or student, and be able to have a conversation with them."
Rothouse plans to study mass communications at Salisbury University, following in his family's footsteps in the TV industry.
He leaves some advice for future Cardin graduates: "Enjoy every minute of it, because it goes by so quickly."
Rabbi Gustav Buchdahl, who is assistant professor of Biblical and Post-Biblical literature at UMBC, and retired rabbi for Temple Emanuel in Baltimore, was guest speaker.
"I hope that you will cherish those you have met here at Cardin. ... Cultivate your relationships and take them with you into the future."
He told them to recognize how important their families' support has been to their success. "Remember that no small measure of your confidence and your competence is the result of the investment of your families."
And he encouraged graduates to meet people who are different from them, and to use their "critical thinking and critical appreciation" in those interactions, along with honesty, integrity and compassion.
And finally, "Don't underestimate laughter," he said. "So much of life is ludicrous, ridiculous. And, if you can pull it off, try to find the hilarious in the tragic."