THHS celebrates annual Founders’ Day
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Townsend Harris High School held its annual Founders’ day at Queens College, a convocation at which the school celebrates its founding fathers and the principles they established. This year, the event was hosted by Humanities Assistant Principal Rafal Olechowski on Friday, November 20.
The ceremony began with the traditional entrance march, Pledge of Allegiance led by SU President Sherin Shibu, and the National Anthem, sung by the chorus. The concert band subsequently played, “A Tribute to the Gershwins,” which was followed by Principal Anthony Barbetta’s opening address. Many Alumni, such as Jennifer Kroman, gave their welcoming speeches.
Senior Howard Tai played the role of Townsend Harris in this year’s skit. “One thing people might not know is the amount of research we did before writing the script,” said Howard. “Townsend isn’t exactly the most well known figure in American history, so our main objective was to inform the audience about his life, personality, and experiences.”
Senior David Zarowin also played a key role, stating, “The most memorable moment were the sessions between myself, Howard Tai, and Dr. Sato preparing the script. We spent hours throwing out various ideas and while I am sad that I will no longer be a part of Founders’ Day, I’m happier that I was able to be part of such an event in the first place.”
The Senior skit, like every other year, brought upon a great mass of enthusiasm amongst the student body. Seniors aimed to provide the underclassmen with some “friendly advice” on THHS and its teachers. “I learned a lot about Mr. Hanson, who I didn’t get to meet, and a lot about other teachers who I will have in the years to come,” said freshman Melanie Esterine,
Science teacher Phillip Porzio’s “Alma Mater Rendition” performance was one of the show’s highlights, touching the hearts of many Harrisites. The piece was made especially memorable when students in the audience consecutively waved the flashlights on their phones in the air, illuminating the darkness. “It was unexpected and truly amazing; it made the moment even more magical and really brought the school together” says junior Jin Li.
Japanese Teacher Dr. Mariko Sato also presented her Japanese skit, making her students perform traditional dances. “I played the role of a confederate soldier and a kuroko,” says junior Sylvia Yu. “We didn’t make any huge mistakes, and I felt that everyone involved in the skit enjoyed their time.”
As the Founder’s Day ceremony came to a close, many seniors already felt nostalgic of their years at THHS. Senior Fardin Rahman recounted her time in the concert band, stating, “All the work we put in, the rehearsals, the final result and the applauds are all part of an amazing experience that I will take with me after Townsend.”