Brouhahas mean the beginning of the end for seniors

Published 4:32 pm Monday, May 17, 2010

My favorite vocabulary word of the year is brouhaha. Brouhaha means a noisy gathering that goes beyond what is necessary. Pelham High School is filled with people that go the extra mile. This time of year requires a few gatherings to commemorate their efforts.

During these final weeks, PHS hosts actual brouhahas that celebrate our academic superstars including our annual Awards Night.

PHS Awards Night is a ceremony for our graduating class, their families and friends that recognizes scholarship recipients and our most ambitious graduates including our valedictorians, salutatorians and honor graduates. Representatives from many universities and community groups attend Awards Night to present their scholarships to our seniors. Academic awards and memorial scholarships are also awarded.

Students receive notification of many scholarships through the mail; however, some of the scholarships given at Awards Night are a surprise, evoking squeals of delight. Although this ceremony is a celebratory brouhaha, it evokes mixed emotions. Brave family members step forward to award scholarships in memory of lost loved ones. This night is difficult for my friend Sally Dumais, who presents the scholarship named for her daughter, Jennifer Rogers.

“This is a happy night for the graduates,” Dumais says. She takes the microphone, comments on the entries and awards eloquently as she does every year. My friend works at maintaining the night’s celebratory atmosphere.

Many of our PHS families watch their babies take the stage. As Principal Bob Lavett calls Abi Ansley for an award, he smiles and says, “The last Ansley.”

Beth Ansley graduated from PHS in 1998.

Three boys and one Abi later, we’re sending the Ansley family on their way. The mother of the Ansley clan is Betty Ansley. Betty said, “We have had a child at Pelham for 16 years.

We have loved Pelham and being a part of Pelham High School has been a wonderful experience for the Ansleys.”

Before the evening ends, awards are presented to the last Contorno, the last Perkins, the last Lowery and the youngest child of many more families who have volunteered, spoken, cleaned, cooked, painted and assisted to keep PHS at its best.

We will miss all of the families who have added to the legacy of Pelham High School, and we hope they’ll always have reasons for brouhahas.