Stoneleigh-Burnham School is pleased to announce that alumna Dr. Flaxie Roberson Fletcher ’68SPH will deliver this year’s Commencement Address.
The 148th Stoneleigh-Burnham School Commencement will take place on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. in Emerson Hall. Each year, the senior class nominates the person they would like to deliver the Commencement Address.
Students chose Dr. Fletcher after getting to know her through her role on the Leadership Council, a group of very engaged alumnae, parents, and grandparents who have demonstrated a great interest in helping the school meet its strategic goals. She is also a former member of the SBS Board of Trustees.
Known as “Plum” to her classmates and “Plummy” to her grandchildren, Dr. Fletcher grew up in Washington, D.C., the daughter of a doctor. She is a graduate of Howard University School of Medicine, and has her own medical practice in Los Angeles. She is an avid supporter of women, education, and health and wellness. She was the first African-American student to attend Stoneleigh Prospect Hill School, and the annual holiday basketball tournament at SBS is the result of her gift to the school.
Each year, the graduating class also nominates a student to represent them as a speaker during Commencement. This year, they chose Xiangge (Coco) Zhao ’17. Coco is a three-year senior from Shanghai, China, and this is her fifth year in the states. At SBS, she participates in the Community Service Club, Rock Band, the Green Team, and the Student Alumnae Association. She is also an excellent and beloved Resident Assistant, unfailingly helpful, kind, and positive. As an athlete, Coco is highly regarded by her coaches and teammates for her effort, dedication, and sportsmanship. She has played varsity basketball, ran varsity cross country this year, and played varsity softball for three years. She will attend George Washington University in Washington D.C. next year. She plans to double major in Environmental Studies and Pre-Athletic Training, and minor in Nutrition.
The class also chose two faculty members to open and close the Commencement ceremony. To deliver opening remarks, they chose English Department Chair Jake Steward, recognizing how, as their 9th grade English teacher, he helped them start high school.
For closing remarks, the class chose Lauren Cunniffe, Director of College Counseling, in recognition of her role in ushering them off to college. Cunniffe is also the school’s librarian and 11th grade dean.
Graduates, students, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, parents, and guests will also hear remarks at Commencement from Head of School Sally Mixsell. Senior class president Star Stryker Erbük will give welcoming remarks, and Board of Trustees Chair Allison Porter ’89 will assist Mixsell in the awarding of diplomas.
Prizes and awards will also be presented at Commencement by Academic Dean Alex Bogel.
The 22 graduates in the Class of 2017 represent seven countries. Nine graduates are International Baccalaureate Diploma candidates and eight are members of the National Honor Society.