Northport students attend the 2016 commencement ceremony. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

The Northport High School Class of 2016 graduated from the high school on Saturday, June 25. The bleachers were filled to capacity as U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) congratulated the students and offered some advice.

Principal Daniel Danbusky, as well as other Northport High School staff members and members of the Northport-East Northport school board handed out diplomas and cheered on the students. ValedictorianIan Buitenkant and SalutatorianEmily Labruna gave poignant speeches, and the Northport High School Choir sang “Fields of Gold.”

Friday marked the 122nd graduation ceremony at Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in Port Jefferson School District. The commencement ceremony for the roughly 80 members of the class of 2016 was held on June 24, at the fields in front of the school on a sunny summer evening.

Friends, family and members of the community, like Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant were at the ceremony. Senior Class President William Witrock presented the class gift; two televisions to be installed in the school’s fitness center for future students to enjoy while using cardio equipment.

Valedictorian Shannon Christ, salutatorian Marianna Spentzos and Student Organization President Jessica Gray from the class of 2016 also made speeches during the graduation ceremony.

Soon-to-be graduate proudly displays high school diploma at Ward Melville High School’s commencement on June 26, 2016. Photo by Andrea Moore Paldy

They came with cameras, air horns and even a graduate’s photo held high on sticks. These were the proud families and friends who came to celebrate the 618 students who graduated from Ward Melville High School on Sunday.

Before receiving their diplomas, graduating seniors listened to final pieces of advice from their peers, their principal Dr. Alan Baum and school board president William Connors.

Class salutatorian Ariel Long urged her classmates to take their experiences at Ward Melville and “look on new beginnings with excitement and not fear.” Jeffrey Michel, the class valedictorian, reminded them to not limit themselves to one talent or interest.

“Change starts with you,” said Dr. Baum, who quoted a number of artists, including Shakira, to remind students that failure is a part of life and a way to learn. He told the graduates to “challenge obstacles,” try again and move forward.

Mount Sinai held its Class of 2016 commencement ceremony on Saturday evening, June 25.

The bleachers were filled to capacity as Superintendent Gordon Brosdal congratulated the students and offered some advice.

Mount Sinai staff members and members of the school board handed out diplomas and cheered on the students, while valedictorian Patrick Hanaj and salutatorian Justine Quan gave poignant speeches. The band and choir performed to add to the festivities, and students were all smiles as they walked up on stage to receive their diplomas. The now former Mustangs then tossed their caps toward the sky in celebration.


Shoreham-Wading River high school held its Class of 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday morning, June 25.

After listening to speeches from valedictorian Kelvin Ma and salutatorian Nicholas Maritato, students were all smiles as they walked up onto the stage and received their diplomas.

Doves were released in honor of Thomas Cutinella after all the graduates’ names were called, and as the ceremony commenced, students turned their tassels before tossing their caps into the air.

Rocky Point High School held it’s Class of 2016 commencement ceremony on the grounds of the football field on Friday, June 24.

After speeches by students and local officials, including Rocky Point Superintendent Michael Ring, class speaker Daniel Infranco and salutatorian Matthew Brewer, students were awarded various scholastic and athletic awards, as well as scholarships, before listening to valedictorian James Gohn’s speech and lining up to be handed their diplomas.

Once each student had a diploma in hand, they turned their tassels to the side before tossing them into the air in celebration of their hard work and achievements throughout their high school journeys.


Miller Place students from the Class of 2016 celebrated their high school careers during the commencement ceremony on Friday, June 24.

Seniors walked under the Panthers blow-up as they made their way onto the field, and listened to speeches from local officials as well as the class valedictorian, Elizabeth Whitlow, and salutatorian, Clara Tucker, before being handed their diplomas.

Panthers pride was on full display with both on-field decoration from the school and music from the band, and by students, who personalized their caps and sang songs of their now alma mater, before tossing their caps in the air in celebration of their hard work that led them to this point.


Smithtown High School East held their 101st graduation on Wednesday, June 22 at the school’s football field. About 400 graduates from the class of 2016 were honored during a ceremony that featured speeches by Principal Edwin Thompson, Superintendent James Grossane and students Benjamin Aaron Dolowich and Julia Esposito. The Senior Class Concert Choir sang The Star Spangled Banner to begin the ceremony and “With a Little Help From My Friends” as a tribute to parents in attendance, which is a tradition at the school.

Cold Spring Harbor High School graduates attend the 2016 commencement ceremony on June 12. Photo from Karen Spehler.

The Cold Spring Harbor High School Class of 2016 received their diplomas on Sunday, June 12, at the district’s 53rd commencement ceremony.

Principal Jay Matuk congratulated the class of 2016 on the achievement in their academic careers, and following tradition, there were four student reflection speakers.

The first was Tamanna Bhatia, who said she entered the countdown to graduation on her cellphone in September while enjoying all the perks of being senior, including knowing the best classes to take, the best delis to visit, and realizing the comfort and familiarity of home and friends will soon be left behind.

Justin Relf spoke next about what it means to be a student at CSH. He said his wish for his classmates was to “stay close to the ones you love; they will always have your back. And, keep up with your wellness, never despair, and always find hope.”

Sophia Kalinowska-Werter said all of the students she’s been with will “go the extra mile without even having to ask.” 

The last speaker was Timothy Sherlock, who said the senior class ensemble will soon be taking a different stage, and asked them to remember: “don’t be distracted by the critics. Go off script and try something new. Rely on your supporting cast; they will always be in the front row.”

Superintendent Judith A. Wilansky gave her final graduation speech, as she is set to retire this year. She spoke of gratitude. “Learn to look at the world through grateful eyes,” she said. “It is easy to be distracted, and not a badge of honor to be busy.”



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More than 400 Newfield High School students received their diplomas on Saturday, June 27, at the school’s annual commencement ceremony.