Jericho, Syosset Graduate Class of 2019

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Graduates exit the ceremony after receiving their diplomas.
(Photo courtesy of the Syosset School District)

The David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex at Hofstra University was packed on Wednesday, June 26, as Syosset High School graduates took center stage. More than 470 seniors, all wearing the Syosset red cap and gown, stepped up to the podium and accepted their high school diplomas.

“Each of you has dreams, ideas and plans,” Superintendent Dr. Tom Rogers said during the ceremony. “Don’t just follow the ones you can achieve. Pursue the ones that inspire you.”
The school’s orchestra played “Pomp and Circumstance,” followed by the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” by The Adelettes.

The Class of 2019 graduating class is highlighted by two national merit scholars, nine national merit finalists and 30 commended students, as well as a Regeneron Science Talent Search finalist and three Regeneron scholars.

Student government President Sahil Rustami and senior class President Charles Zandieh presented the class gift, which was a variety of amenities for the school courtyard.

“Don’t forget that the foundations of our characters were formed during the transitional four years [at Syosset],” Valedictorian Cooper Scher said.

Salutatorian Sabrina Eager also took to the stage, expressing her gratitude for the education she received in Syosset.

Jericho High School’s Class of 2019 celebrated commencement on Sunday, June 23, at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. The graduates had an impressive year, highlight by Valedictorians Zachary Rosenfeld, Danielle Weisenfeld, Jiaqi Zhang and Ethan Reiser.

The Class of 2019 received several awards and accolades, and students were also involved in many community service activities, raising a great deal of funds for various charities.
Jericho High School was named as U.S. News and World Report’s top high school on Long Island. Nationally, Jericho ranks 134th in the nation and 17th in New York State.

“We are pleased to be recognized as one of the top high schools in the country,” Jericho School District Superintendent Hank Grishman said. “While we attempt to focus on individual student growth and accomplishments, we are keenly aware of the importance that is placed on such rankings.”

From left: Jericho High School Valedictorians Zachary Rosenfeld, Danielle Weisenfeld, Jiaqi Zhang and Ethan Reiser. (Photo by Denise Nash)

However, Jericho dropped from its 98th-place ranking in the nation from last year.
Part of the reason for the descent is due to U.S. News and World Report’s revised evaluation system. More than 17,000 schools in America were included in the report, compared to 2,700 a year ago.

Largely thanks to Jericho’s impressive school district, the hamlet was named as No. 1 on Niche.com’s list of best places to raise a family in New York. Additionally, Syosset also joined the list, coming in at No. 4.

Niche.com lists Jericho as the area with the best public schools in New York, just like U.S. News and World Report.

“Jericho is the quintessential suburban town with its smart work-live-play mix,” Senator Jim Gaughran said. “It is a wonderful place to raise a family with its top-notch public schools and close-knit community, so it makes sense that it would be voted best place to raise a family in New York.”

Syosset did well in the Niche.com report as well, being ranked fifth in the best public schools report.

Besides the high school ceremonies, the middle schools also held their respective commencement programs.

On June 24, H.B. Thompson Middle School’s eighth-grade students officially became Syosset High School students during a moving up ceremony held at the Tilles Center. With plenty of dreams, students reflected on their middle school experience and looked towards a bright future.

Members of the Class of 2019, Natalie Socci and William Duguid, led the presentation of colors, with Emma Silverstein leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Musical performances were given by the HBT Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Band, followed by the eighth-grade graduation chorus’ performance of “A Million Dreams,” underscoring the theme of the ceremony.

Additionally, eighth-graders from South Woods Middle School received their certificates as they also officially moved up to Syosset High School.

The processional orchestra performed a rendition of “Pomp and Circumstance,” and the presentation of the colors was conducted by students Neil Fernandes, Gabriel Kim and Tiffany Qian. Shivane Dadi led the Pledge of Allegiance and the orchestra performed the “Star Spangled Banner.” Later in the ceremony, the eighth-grade chorus performed a heartwarming version of the song “I Lived.” Students Arielle Caspi and Parker Kim served as Masters of Ceremony.

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