With proud parents, siblings, friends, teachers, administrators, and members of the board of education, the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Class of 2021 received their diplomas during the 127th annual commencement exercises on June 25.
Principal Eric Haruthunian welcomed everyone to the momentous ceremony. Grace Keegan led in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the National Anthem, which was performed by valedictorian Peggy Yin.
Words of wisdom and congratulatory remarks on the accomplishments of the students were offered by Superintendent of Schools Jessica Schmettan, Haruthunian, and parent speaker Stephen Rabeno, father of twin graduates Mattea and Michela Rabeno.
He shared an inspiring story of his daughters’ growing up in Port Jefferson and referred to Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” as a reflection of the kindness and acceptance of students in the school community.
Yin and salutatorian Massimo Cipriano shared memories with their fellow classmates and thanked family members and teachers for the continued encouragement for all students to succeed in the small school community.
Haruthunian then presented the class of 2021 to Schmettan and Board of Education President Ellen Boehm before inviting each student to the podium and highlighting their high school careers and future plans.
He was assisted by Assistant Principal Kevin Bernier in handing out the diplomas. The students then stood and tossed their caps in the air in celebration of becoming the newest graduates of the high school.