More than 500 seniors in Syosset’s Class of 2015 graduated at the school’s 57th annual commencement held at Hofstra University on June 24.
The students filed into the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” played by select members of Syosset’s high school orchestra. Members of the a cappella groups The Adelettes and Choral Pride delivered a stunning rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Emceed by Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante, the evening featured speeches from Board of Education trustees Laura Schlesinger and Susan Parker, Superintendent Dr. Tom Rogers, class speaker Peter Joyce, valedictorian Max Carol and salutatorian Janice Chui.
“If at first you don’t succeed, do it like your mother told you,” said Schlesinger, speaking about the special bond between parents and their graduating scholars. Parker underlined the graduating class’ phenomenal character and spirit.
“I have the good fortune of knowing many of you for your goodness, your sense of humor and your kindness,” Parker said. “Do what you love to do and follow your dreams.”
Joyce reminded his classmates of the importance of remembering their emotional connections to memories of high school and milestones, such as graduation.
“Emotion goes further,” he said. “What happens is never that important. What’s important is that we feel what happened.”
Class of 2015 student council president and vice president Lynn Hur and Abraham Polakunnil presented the class gift: an upgraded sound system to be installed in the school’s auditorium. Durante honored students that received scholarly recognitions throughout the year and members of Syosset’s SEPTA handed out awards to students that rose above their challenges to receive their diplomas.
Chui urged her classmates to continue to have strength of character and contribute to their world.
“I hope that we can continue to make good decisions and act in ways that earn others’ respect,” she said. “Every student at Syosset is like a piece of a big puzzle.”
“What’s really important is that we learn,” said Max Carol, during his valedictorian address. “Not facts, but learn how to learn. Learn how to be intellectually curious. This is your life and it’s up to you to live it how you want. Never forget to love what you do.”
Rogers had a similar theme, drawing a parallel from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, to exhort students: “Don’t be satisfied with understanding; seek insight.”
The commencement culminated with each student walking up to receive their diploma and the traditional cap toss.
—Submitted by Syosset Schools