ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca High School held its 140th Commencement Ceremony on Thursday night in the Ithaca College Athletics & Events Center.

Michael Reiff, an Ithaca High School English teacher, spoke at the ceremony and said that it had been “a rich pleasure to teach you for the last four years.

Reiff spoke about the need for the IHS graduates to be happy and to try and “exceed the rubric” in life.

“You’ve got to exceed the rubric. You need to break the rubric. Do what you’re asked for and more and go beyond it,” he said.

“You do more than people want, expect or need and then it’s your time … truly, nobody can touch it. You’ve exceeded the rubric.”

“In that free, open beyond-the-rubric space you get to not just be happy but figure out some other stuff about yourself. As Socrates said, ‘An unexamined life is not worth living.’”

The graduation program contained another important note: “The Class of 2015 remembers John Kozak, who passed away shortly before the start of his senior year. John was a kind and generous person who touched the lives of everyone around him, and he is missed.

“We remember John today and hold him in our hearts as a member of the Class of 2015.”

Here are an additional 20 photos from the graduation, courtesy of IHS’ Facebook page:

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.