Waves of red and grey washed over Ravinia Festival as Deerfield High School's Class of 2011 gathered for its official graduation night. Adorned with medals commemorating the school's 50th anniversary, the graduates were festive and enthusiastic despite 50-degree weather and chilling winds.
Students wore earmuffs, gloves and even long underwear to stay warm. Hundreds of supporters were also in attendance applauding the graduates as they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.
The Class of 2011's valedictorians were Yucheng Pan, Kristin Rice, and Matthew Magill, along with salutatorians Jenna Kainic and Meghan Frankel.
In addition, Deerfield High School's new flag was presented for the very first time. Graduating senior Vasiliki Valkanas designed the flag and described its red and grey streams intersecting the Warriors logo as representing "the prism of Deerfield High School."
Katie Conroy delivered the class's commencement speech, in which she spoke of a particular day when she trudged to school through waist-deep waters only to find out that the flooding had caused school to be cancelled. Amidst the humor, Conroy gave motivational words to her graduating class, encouraging them to "wade in" and fully realize the importance of every school day during their high school careers. Conroy tweaked her speech so as to acknowledge the record cold, saying her trudge through freezing waters was the coldest she'd ever been "until tonight."
We at Patch congratulate the Deerfield Class of 2011 on an amazing run and wish them the best of luck in years to come.