Put the books away and let the celebrations begin.
The sight of caps, gowns, smiles, misty eyes — plus rolled-up diplomas dangling from pumping fists — has always been a time-honored tradition at Brooklyn’s learning institutions, which have a custom of producing clever young people who can’t wait to seize today’s moment and tomorrow’s world.
Across the borough, the Class of 2011 received an A-plus for keeping the rites right.
Students from Shellbank Junior High School in Sheepshead Bay looked to a grander venue to usher in their big day — Brooklyn College. There, glowing grads Kayla Hernandez, Jahnoshia Brea, Kaitlyn Chambers and Kiran Ahmad were among the new alumni who marked the occasion with a joint flick of their hat tassels.
“Yesss!” chirped the the quartet, glad that summer break was finally here.
Kingsborough Community College was the place to be if you were graduating from PS 312 in Bergen Beach, where young alum Gino Bova spilled over with smiles after receiving the Assistant Principal’s Award for outstanding effort.
Graduation day had students over at the The Connie Lekas School, PS 811K in Sheepshead Bay seeing red as the Class of 2011 arrived in crimson caps and gowns — an eye-pleasing get-up which elicited a wide grin from usually cuke-cool Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who delivered the keynote address and presented thrilled scholar Natasha Gladden with the Chancellor’s Roll of Honor Citation.
A few minutes drive away at PS 52, Shelley Lancet came bearing a huge bouquet of flowers for her daughter, Melissa, whose face broke into a bright smile when she saw the blooms.
Erasmus Hall High’s salutatorian, Krista Watcott, made sure to congratulate her peers at her class’s graduation day, making special note of the “5,000 hours” of their lives they had spent at the Flatbush school.
“The next years will be just as amazing!” the budding speaker assured her audience, which included guest speaker Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Pals Kenisha Soleyn and Q-Tiye Clarke were among the golden girls and boys from PS 114 giving one another hugs and high-fives on their graduation day, held at nearby IS 68 in Canarsie.
The ceremonies were especially sweet because just a handful of months ago, the Canarsie school was doomed to closure before the Department of Education reversed its decision following rallies by the school community.