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The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte


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Coasters, Minions, and Memories Abound At GradBash 2024

Matt Marasco
Sixty-six members of the Class made the journey up to Orlando for Grad Bash 2024. Seniors spent the evening at the Universal Resort’s two theme parks, enjoying the rides, attractions, and thrills that the annual event offers to graduating students throughout the country. The trip has become a tradition for the Bucs, one which first began with excursions to Disney World’s Grad Night before transitioning over to the rival park.

With graduation fast approaching, the seniors celebrated one of their final days of school at Universal Studios on April 26, enjoying an exclusive night of rides and entertainment at the annual Grad Bash event.

Gathering behind the gym at 3 p.m., 66 seniors boarded two charter buses and set off to Universal. After a quick pit stop at Ft. Drum for snacks and refreshments, they made their way through a special entrance reserved for Universal employees, landing right next to the Jimmy Fallon ride. Arriving at 6:30 p.m., students were able to enjoy rides and unique Grad bash merchandise for
the Class of 2024. As the night drew to a close, students met at the Islands of Adventure Christmas shop at around 1:45 a.m. and arrived back at school at 5 a.m.

Planning Grad Bash is a year-long endeavor, involving the dedicated efforts of administrators, faculty, and staff. Senior Dean, Dr. John Peruggia, helps oversee this process and ensure a memorable and smooth experience for all of the graduating seniors.

“In late April, I received an email from Universal with potential dates for next year’s Grad Bash. I meet with Mr. Carr and Mrs. Salivar to choose the best date, and we then submit our request to Universal. Coach German secures charter buses for comfortable transportation, and we aim to finalize these plans before the school
year ends. In the fall, I attend a Zoom meeting with Universal to discuss costs and trip details and then we
start to sell tickets. Once we sell the tickets, I get chaperones for the trip, and from there, we just hope for good
weather,” Peruggia explained.

To guarantee that all students can participate fully, Universal has streamlined the accommodation process. Now, to access special accommodations like line access passes or quiet rooms, students must pre-register for a special ID card. Senior Mimi Chandler, who had broken her foot, had a great time at the event and felt that she received necessary support.

“My experience at Grad Bash was great thanks to the accommodations for my first injury. I was initially worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it, but the line access pass allowed me to skip the lines and board the rides comfortably. It made the night really fun without putting any strain on my injury,” Chandler expressed.

Senior Christian Balisteri agrees with Chandler and felt that Grad Bash allowed him to not only bond with his
close friend group, but his grade as a whole.

“In school I only get to see the people I have classes with so it was really nice to spend time with our whole grade. I loved going on the Rip Ride Rockit and the Velociocoaster and just had an awesome time walking around with my friends, meeting new people from other schools, and bonding with people on the bus,” Balistreri said.

Upper School science teacher, Mr. Steven Blount expressed his enthusiasm for the annual event.

“I have gone to Grad Bash for all but two years that I have worked here at Benjamin and I just love the event. For us teachers, it’s so nice to be able to interact with the students outside the classroom setting because it’s less formal and we can really get to know them. I love seeing the kids who don’t normally run in the same crowds get to interact and it’s always such a fun experience and community builder,” said Blount.

Grad Bash not only allows students to connect with their peers but also introduces them to seniors from other schools.

“Grad Bash is one of the few opportunities that our seniors get to have that they share with seniors from other schools and so I think it helps them feel a part of that senior community. It also serves as one of their first steps out of the “Benjamin bubble,” giving them a chance to see and interact with seniors from other schools” Peruggia said.

Grad Bash proved to be a memorable night for the seniors, providing them with entertainment, camaraderie, and unique experiences as they celebrated one of their final Benjamin experiences.

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About the Contributors
Chase Zur
Chase Zur, Associate Editor
Chase Zur is a sophomore and this is her second semester in The Pharcyde. Chase has attended The Benjamin School since WOW and is excited to start her second year in the Upper School. She enjoys watching sports and spending time with friends and family. As a second year staff writer, Chase is looking forward to taking on more articles and improving her journalistic writing in The Pharcyde. 
Matt Marasco
Matt Marasco, Editor-in-Chief
Matthew Marasco is an Editor-in-Chief of The Pharcyde. Starting on The Pharcyde as a sophomore, he has attended Benjamin since Kindergarten. He likes to fish and golf in his free time. As a senior at Benjamin, Matthew enjoys writing opinion pieces and about sports. He is an avid member of the veteran's appreciation club and enjoys doing community service at the Quantum House.

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