Tags Posts tagged with "Graduation"


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By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

The number of Advanced Placement courses has expanded dramatically since parents were the age of their high school children.

Whereas we could have taken, say, four or five APs, the modern high school student can graduate with considerably more.

Current students can and sometimes do take as many as eight, nine, 10 or more AP classes, in the hopes of knocking the socks off college admissions counselors, guidance counselors and future prospective employers. All those AP classes can also give students enough college credits to help them graduate in under four years.

I’d like to propose my own list of AP classes for future generations.

— AP Listening. So many people love to talk, to hear their own voices, and to tell others how they’re wrong even before people can share a fully formed opinion. In this class, students would be required to listen to new ideas, to consider them and to react and interact with others. Speaking would be considerably less important than listening carefully.

— AP Conspiracy Theory. We all know that conspiracy theories are as ubiquitous as “Welcome” signs in corner stores. This AP class would look deeply at some of the most detailed conspiracy theories, giving students a chance to question everyone and everything, including those people who create and pass along conspiracies.

— AP Saying No. To borrow from former First Lady Nancy Reagan, saying “no” to drugs, among other things, is a healthy and important part of growing up and making the most of the college experience. The class could provide students with a wide range of situations in which students say “no” without damaging their ego or social status.

— AP Social Media Etiquette, or SME, for short. Some seniors get into colleges well before their colleagues. When they do, they post pictures of themselves on campus, their parents wearing gear from the school that admitted them, and the school emblem or insignia with confetti coming down from the top of the screen. Yes, you got into college, and yes, that’s wonderful, but other members of your class are still applying and don’t need to feel awful because they haven’t gotten in anywhere yet.

— AP It’s Not About Me (or, perhaps, INAM). Yes, this is a bit like a psychology class, but instead of studying theories and psychology legends, these students could explore real-life scenarios in which, say, Sue becomes angry with John. John may not have done anything in particular, but Sue may be reacting to someone else in her life, like her parents forcing her to take AP It’s Not About Me instead of going to soccer practice.

— AP Take Responsibility. When something goes wrong at school, work or in the house, it’s far too easy to point the finger at someone else. In this class, students can learn how to take responsibility, when it’s appropriate, and demonstrate courage, leadership, and initiative in accepting responsibility for their mistakes.

— AP Personal History. Each of us has our own story to tell. Colleges urge prospective students to find their authentic voice. That’s not always easy in a world filled with formulas and scripted and structured writing. In this personal history class, students could take a microscope to their own lives and to the lives of their extended family, understanding and exploring characteristics and life stories. Students might discover family patterns they wish to emulate or to avoid at all costs.

— AP Tail Wagging. While the world is filled with problems, students could explore modern and historical moments and ideas that inspire them and that give them reasons to celebrate. This class could blend a combination of historical triumphs with small daily reasons to celebrate or, if you prefer, to wag your tail.

— AP Get to Know Your Parents. High school students who are well ahead of their time emotionally and intellectually may come to the conclusion many others reach before their mid 20’s: that their parents are, big shock here, people! Yeah, we do ridiculous thing like send them in the wrong clothing to school, miss important dances, and embarrass them by kissing them in front of their friends. This course could help accelerate the process of seeing parents for the imperfect creatures who love them unconditionally.

For the Harborfields High School Class of 2023, the overcast skies on the morning of June 24 were not reflected in the brightness of the seniors’ spirits as they celebrated the school’s 64th commencement ceremony.

Superintendent Rory Manning was introduced by student Nahrahel Louis. After prompting a round of applause for the seniors, Manning asked them to put down their phones, be present in the moment and look at their families in the stands, before leading them in a relaxing mindfulness exercise and discussing the value of shared experiences.

“You, the amazing Class of 2023, continue to earn recognition for your academic prowess, your athletic feats, your musical talents and for doing the little things each day to be at your best,” Manning said. “We have all been through a lot, some more than others, but we all have shared experiences that make us a family. Enjoy this moment and be present.”

Salutatorian Alexa Best asked her classmates to recall an ordinary day attending school at Harborfields.

“On such a momentous occasion, it is easy to get caught up in this one large achievement and forget what brought us here,” Best said. “I want you to forget graduating for a moment, and instead pretend that you are all here celebrating that ordinary day you imagined. Imagine that one ordinary day is just as important as graduating from high school. My point is, we should give ourselves permission to appreciate the small moments in life. There is beauty in those ordinary days and memories. These are the moments that make graduating worth something. You’re not here celebrating the fact that you completed all your credits required by the New York State Education Department. You’re here celebrating the fact that you have woke up every day for the past four years to come to this school and see these people.”

Valedictorian Lindsay Sung pondered being ready for this major transition and lauded the power of connection.

“After today, I realize that we’re getting never back together, we’ll all be off in our adult lives doing our own adult things,” Sung said. “I think back to freshman year when I felt that high school was the scariest thing ever. But we survived, and high school doesn’t seem so scary anymore. While the transitions are scary in the moment, if we take it one day at a time, we’ll soon look back and suddenly it won’t be so frightening. In fact, it will seem as though time has slipped through our fingers before we even realize it, just like high school has. Even though we are on our own now, we are not alone. It is important to remember that we are moving forward together. We will forever and always be connected.”

Class President Alexandra Ebanks used her background in music as a keynote.

“Our commencement day is not just a milestone, but a musical piece of sorts, one that marks the end of a movement,” Ebanks said. “As our symphony’s movement draws to a close, we are reminded of the unity in our ensemble. This isn’t an end, but a transition to a new movement in our own song. May we continue to make music that rings true to our shared past, while creating harmonies for our future. Let us carry with us the lessons we have learned, humming the tunes of unity, resilience and love. From the first note to the last, we are one Harborfields Class of 2023.”

The day’s featured speaker, as chosen by the students, was history teacher Daniel Greening. Introduced by Student Government Vice President Elizabeth Kelly, Greening used the book “The Pioneers” as a springboard for advice.

“Life will be tough, but if you work hard and rely on people around you like the people you have in this community, you will be able to accomplish anything in this shining city upon a hill,” Greening said. “You are a special group of young people who have persevered over the past four extremely arduous years and have found yourself sitting here in front of friends, family and loved ones. Now it is your time to pioneer your own
journey. This great country has a history of providing opportunities for those who work hard, are resilient and take on any challenge in order to improve life for themselves and those around them. You are capable and strong young men and women who need to lead us into the next generation.”

Finally, Principal Marie Netto addressed her charges, using the Centennial Light, the world’s longest burning light bulb, as a metaphor.

“Even the smallest light can shine bright and make a difference, and that is exactly what I hope you all realize is within each of you,” Netto said. “In fact, your radiance is evident in this very moment as you sit in the campus of Harborfields High School as unique individuals alongside your classmates, supported by family, friends and faculty who share in celebrating your commencement. Just like a prism breaks light into a spectrum of colors, each of you has your own unique talents and abilities that can bring color and beauty to the world. My hope for you is that you will always embrace your individuality and let your light shine, for it is in being true to yourself that you will make the greatest impact.”

As a reminder, each graduate received a gift prism with their diplomas, before joyfully hurling their caps to the sky and walking out as new alumni. 


While inclement weather led to an indoor ceremony in the school’s Performing Arts Center, pride and excitement were in ample supply as Elwood-John H. Glenn High School held its 61st commencement on June 23.

The students of Glenn’s Class of 2023 processed in until a sea of blue and white filled the front rows. 

Principal Corey McNamara posed a thought-provoking question in his welcome address, asking “What is the purpose of high school? I don’t know if there’s one answer that universally applies. For each and every one of you, the purpose of high school likely varies. For some, your purpose was to get good grades to get into a good college on your path to a good career. Some have aspirations for a different pathway, such as a trade or military service. Some wanted to be a part of something bigger than themselves by joining our clubs. For some, maybe the purpose was just to have a place where they can go to challenge themselves, find advice or simply talk to someone. For others, the purpose was to socialize and make strong, meaningful friendships that will last forever and help them get through the toughest of times. I’m sure there are many other ideas out there, but I believe there is one thing that high school has done for everyone — it teaches us to be resilient.”

Next was Kenneth Bossert, giving his final graduation address as superintendent of schools and earning a well-deserved honorary diploma.

“The last seven years has afforded me the opportunity to interact with many members of this senior class,” Bossert said. “They arrived at Elwood Middle School as anxious sixth graders at the same time as I arrived as an anxious superintendent. I’ve had the pleasure of observing them in classrooms and hallways, in the cafeteria, on the fields, on the courts and on this stage. They’ve shared their talents in academics, athletics, the arts, music and drama with their families and the community. Seniors, you have brought positive attention to our school district, as Elwood-John H. Glenn has been identified as one of the top high schools in both the state and the nation. You have a lot to be proud of in the Class of 2023.”

“As a pediatrician in the community and a parent of one of the seniors in the Class of 2023,” board of education member Dr. Sara Siddiqui said, “I have seen your display of strength and resilience as you matured into young adults and am proud to see all that you have accomplished. It gives me great joy to be able to celebrate with you. I have seen your class rise to the challenges and support each other, one of the benefits of a tight-knit community like Elwood. What truly sets this class apart is the adaptability you have exhibited. Early in your high school years, the pandemic tested your resolve, forcing you to change your learning environment and change your high school experience. You navigated these challenges with determination and steadfastness. You gave your time and energy to help your friends and family and community, and because of that, you were able to be resilient and move forward. The skills that you have obtained by learning to adapt and face your challenges will provide a foundation that can be used in any path you choose for the
future. The community will always be here for you when you need us.”

Salutatorian Emily LaMena, a gifted track athlete, drew inspiration from the spirit of running for her address.

“Life is much like running in that it is a testament to endurance, perseverance and determination,” LaMena said. “It is a journey that requires both physical and mental strength. Each step we take builds our character, shapes our resilience and propels us forward toward our goals. In life as in running, success is not always measured by winning, but by the time and effort we invest, the barriers we break and the obstacles we overcome. Throughout our high school years, we have faced our own unique hurdles. We’ve encountered rigorous exams and demanding coursework. We’ve tackled complex concepts and sought knowledge beyond the boundaries of textbooks. Of course, we’ve stumbled and made mistakes along the way. We’ve also risen to the occasion, embracing the challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. We’ve learned to rise above setbacks, harness our inner strength and strive for greatness despite the odds. Our journey in high school has not been a sprint, but a marathon, and here we are crossing the finish line.”

Valedictorian James Rourke invoked the seniors’ shared history.

“These past four years have been a whirlwind of growth, challenges and unforgettable moments,” Rourke said. “We pushed ourselves in the classroom with new and more difficult courses, taking online and hybrid forms of schooling in stride, while juggling extracurricular activities and jobs. As we bid farewell to the halls that have shaped us into the remarkable individuals we are today, let us remember the memories that have
woven themselves into the fabric of our lives. May we continue to find joy, embrace laughter and approach life’s ups and downs with the same spirit and openness to change that brought us here today. I’m confident that each and every one of us is more than equipped to handle whatever comes next. The future is ours to shape.”

Shah then extolled the virtues of Elwood’s small, tight-knit school community before introducing Class of 2023 graduation speaker Kevin Golden, chosen by his peers as a student who exemplifies John Glenn’s spirit. His humorous speech focused on happiness and change.

“We live our lives to try and achieve goals, but if the ultimate goal is happiness, why wait?” Golden asked. “I urge every single one of you to enjoy the journey as much as the milestones. Everyone will encounter some roadblocks along the way that make the journey even more interesting. One major roadblock that we encounter is change. Change is meeting new people, living in different places, attracting new things, so embrace it. Goals are great, but look for the good in each day. Maintain a positive mindset and always
remember to keep smiling, keep laughing and live that happy life we all aspire to live.”

“This milestone is no easy feat,” board of education President James Tomeo said. “Many of you had to work extremely hard, take multiple pathways to achieve your successes, and had many ups and many downs in order to get to this point. The board of education extends our admiration, congratulations and well wishes for all your future endeavors. As you go out into this world, it sometimes may be divided and at times seem uncertain, but nothing is uncertain. You know your journey, you know your purpose, you know who you are and you know what you believe in. Stay true to yourself. Remember your roots and where you come from. Elwood will always and forever be home.

”Once the diplomas were  handed out, tassels turned and caps flung to the rafters, the new Knights alumni walked out into the night, ready to begin the next phase of their lives.

Even the threat of rain couldn’t damper the spirits of 337 Smithtown High School East students as they celebrated their graduation ceremony on June 22.

Early morning, the plan was to move the graduation ceremony indoors, but as the weather improved, crews at Smithtown High School East and Smithtown High School West worked feverishly to return the celebration outdoors.

Once the ceremony began, Smithtown High School East Principal Robert Rose addressed his graduating class. “I am truly humbled of your powers in the classroom, on the stage in the arts and on the athletic fields,” Rose said. “I’ve always said Smithtown East is a special place and that is primarily because of you.”

Assistant Superintendent Kevin Simmons, who was the principal at East for a little over three years before moving to the district office, was the keynote speaker.

Sophia Augier, Smithtown High School East honor speaker, spoke to her class about overcoming the pandemic, sticking together and to “remember the significance of treating each other with kindness and respect.”

Senior Class President Caileigh Harrigan also praised her class for their hard work while keeping an eye toward the future.

After the congratulatory speeches, students were awarded their diplomas by the board of education and school counselors. The seniors then participated in the traditional moving of the tassels to indicate their becoming alumni of the Smithtown Central School District.

Smithtown High School West celebrated 334 seniors as its graduating class of 2023 on June 22.

“You have left a legacy for future students,” said Smithtown Central School District Superintendent Mark Secaur as he addressed the class with the threat of rain giving way to the bright futures of the new graduates.

Smithtown High School West Principal John Coady told the class, “The best days are ahead of you, not behind you” and encouraged the students to be a positive influence and “always respect the values of others.”

Stephen Jung, Smithtown High School West Honor Speaker, spoke to the class about overcoming the pandemic, while saying, “Each of you earned a right to be here and that deserves its own applause.”

Senior Class President Stephen Hunt IV reminded the class to find their passion and “always remember you are your own person.”

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By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

This past weekend was both fabulous and exhausting. We drove nine hours down to Virginia to celebrate with my granddaughter as she graduated from college, and with my son and daughter-in-law, her parents, who helped make it happen. Both sides of the family were represented, and we were all in, cheering, laughing, eating, strolling and talking, talking, talking for two days straight, not counting our travel days.

We were certainly not alone enjoying this milestone. I never saw so much traffic on the roads between here and Virginia, both going and coming, and we theorized it was all those families and all those graduates driving the highways on this college graduation weekend in May.

The joy of a graduation from college spans generations. Those who seemed to feel the accomplishment most, perhaps, were the families of first-generation graduates, whose members would often boast to anyone listening, “She’s the first to graduate.” We all cheered, clapped, and if we could, whistled during those 30 seconds when our loved one crossed the stage, was handed the diploma, smiled for the camera, then returned to his or her seat.

Predictably, we heard lots of speeches. Those who received honorary doctorates, the president of the college, the chancellor, the student representative, the keynote speaker, all addressed the graduating class and their guests with words of wisdom that, as I recall from my graduation, were promptly ignored. For us then, the tone, however, was hopeful and positive.

This time, though, there were two differences that I heard. The first was a recognition that the world for these young people had changed, both physically and societally. The country was sadly divided, and climate change was altering the globe. People were not listening to each other. That they might enjoy better lives than their parents because their future was bright was never mentioned.  

These graduates had their lives and their studies interrupted by the pandemic and were captive of their computers for part of their  learning. The message was that they had lost out in their four years, lost the easy camaraderie of uninterrupted campus life and the person-to-person contact with their classmates and professors. There was some reference to overcoming challenges and resilience, but on the whole, there was none of the usual comments as to how this next generation was going to make the world a better place. It seemed the goal was just to cope.

The other difference from the educators was, to me, defensive. Stressed was the need and importance of education. Of course, they were preaching to the choir. But still, the comment rang out, “When you have forgotten all [the facts] that you have learned, what you will have left is education.” More than once, the reference was to having learned how to think analytically as being the major benefit of their college years.

I did get a kick out of one dean, who referred in her talk to the various world events that had occurred during the past four years. We listened attentively because we all experienced them. And when she was concluding, she confessed that almost the whole speech had been written by ChatGPT. We laughed but not without a tinge of concern for future college students.

As always, at graduations, it is a happy and also a sad time for the graduates. There is a lot of “goodbye.” They are leaving behind those they had come to know and places that had become as familiar to them as their dorm rooms: where they shopped for food, where they retreated to study, where they played volleyball, where they enjoyed their “midnight snacks” that were probably well beyond midnight.

Our granddaughter keenly felt the yin and yang of moving on. She tried to spend time with us even as she was drawn to the gatherings and parties on campus of her friends and roommates. I wanted to tell her that this time was a beginning, more than an end, and that she would be taking the best with her into the next chapter. 

But I didn’t. She had already heard enough speeches.

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By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

The clock didn’t care about COVID-19.

Time marched forward at the same pace that it always has, and yet, the pandemic, which altered so much about our experiences, seemed to alter the fourth dimension.

Initially stuck in homes, we developed new routines, worked at kitchen tables or desks and spent considerably more time with family members and our pets throughout the day than anticipated.

For students, the pandemic altered opportunities and created challenges unseen for a century.

And yet, each year, as in this one for our daughter, the annual rite of passage of a graduation following an amalgam of typical and unique experiences awaits.

As these students march to “Pomp and Circumstance,” listen, or half-listen, to graduation speakers and glance at their supportive families who are thrilled to mark the milestone, celebrate their achievement and come together, what will be going through the minds of these new graduates?

Some may reflect on the typical academic stresses and achievements that helped them earn their diploma. They will consider the hours spent on lab experiments, the late-night workouts at the gym before a big game, and the endless rehearsals for shows and performances. They may bask in the attention of friends they made from around the country or around the corner.

They also might consider the parts they missed or the sudden change from their expected pathways.

Students, who were studying abroad, suddenly needed to return home as quickly as possible. They had to make sure they had their passports and visas, booked flights, and cleared out of rooms that might have just started to feel like home.

Others, like our daughter, raced back to their dorms from spring break, packed everything up and drove home.

As the weeks and months of uncertainty caused by a pandemic that gripped the country for more than two years progressed, some students recognized that they would not have some opportunities, like studying abroad. They might have filled out forms, learned important words in a different language, and chosen classes carefully that they couldn’t take.

Student-athletes, actors and artists, many of whom worked hard for months or longer together, were on their own as fields and stands stood empty.

These students may recognize, more than others, that plans may need to change in response to uncertainty caused by health concerns, storms or other issues.

Amid these disruptions and changes in routine, students and their families needed to pivot. They connected with friends online, entertained themselves at home, often on electronic devices, and tried to learn online.

Undoubtedly, they missed learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. I heard from numerous students about lowered expectations and abridged syllabi, with American History classes designed to go to 2016 that stopped in 1945, at the end of World War II.

It will be up to students to fill those holes and to recognize the opportunities to become lifelong learners.

Indeed, as people search for a label for these graduates, perhaps the list will include the pivot generation, the empty stadium generation, and the virtual learning generation.

Historically, commencement speakers have exhorted graduates to embrace the opportunity to learn, to question the world around them and to seek out whatever they need.

After the pandemic adversely affected some of the students, perhaps some of them will learn and develop a stronger and more determined resilience, enabling them to keep their goals in sight even amid future uncertainties.

In the meantime, they and we can embrace the normalcy of a routine that allows them to watch the familiar clock as it slowly moves through the minutes of a commencement address.

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By Father Frank Pizzarelli

Father Frank Pizzarelli

June is the time of year when school ends and summer begins. It’s a time of year when our high school seniors graduate and prepare to transition into young adults. Some will go away to college; others will prepare to enter the workforce. All of our graduates will hopefully deal with all of the challenges of change and transition in a positive way.

The hard question to answer is are these graduates ready and prepared for the new challenges before them? The pandemic has definitely impaired many of these extraordinary young men and women.

However, despite the challenges and the lack of holistic services in the area of mental health and addiction services, many of these graduates have begun to navigate the difficult road before them with extraordinary character and integrity.

Despite the polarizing landscape they must navigate, the class of 2022 are genuinely beacons of hope. So many of them have courageously challenged the hypocrisy of our present age. They have reached out to the most vulnerable and marginalized among us.

A growing number of high school students who have graduated and have been victimized by the mass school shootings that have ripped at the soul of America have become prophetic voices in our midst. They have worked tirelessly to raise people’s awareness that sensible gun laws don’t infringe on our Second Amendment rights, but rather remind us that all life is sacred and we need to protect all!

Graduates of 2022, thank you for reminding all of us that hope lives in our midst and that your class is going to make a profound difference in our world! Thank you for reminding us that all people matter, no matter what their race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status.

Class of 2022, may you always have the courage despite our social climate of divisiveness to build bridges instead of walls, to create a world where love, forgiveness and inclusiveness are foundational.

One of your classmates this graduation season did not walk with his fellow seniors because he was killed due to gun violence. His high school career was marked by compassion and service to others. He constantly talked to his mom about wanting to go into public service after college and trying to make a difference in the world. He won’t have that opportunity but many of you could choose that career path. We desperately need you; our democracy is moving towards autocracy; we need your help to reclaim the soul of our nation and protect our freedoms.

May you always remember hope does not abandon us, we abandon hope! Class of 2022 —  always be men and women of hope!

Father Francis Pizzarelli, SMM, LCSW-R, ACSW, DCSW, is the director of Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson.

More than 7,600 Stony Brook University students filed into Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium to take part in the 2022 Degree Commencement Celebration ceremony Friday, May 20.

The students were part of one of the largest graduating classes in the university’s 65-year history. They were awarded a combined 7,610 degrees and certificate completions. The Class of 2022 included students from 68 countries and 45 states, and the students ranged from 19 to 71. In addition to the in-person event, it was live streamed.

During the ceremony, film director Todd Haynes received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Over the past four decades, he has taken part in several films and television projects as a film director, screenwriter and producer. He has won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for his work on “Poison,” an American science fiction drama horror film that he also wrote. Haynes is a longtime friend of Christine Vachon, founder of Stony Brook’s MFA in Film, and has collaborated often with her and guest lectured to students in the program.

Haynes had advice for the graduates.

“I just wanted to acknowledge the remarkable teachers in my life, who I feel gave to me the tools to engage with a history and a culture that contained all the contradictions and many of the challenges that we confront today, that you guys confront today,” he said. “They helped me feel inspired to engage with those challenges, not to retreat or even impose my own solutions, but to dig deeper, to raise questions and respond to them in my own way, which is what I have the unique privilege of doing as a filmmaker. I wish for every student here today those kinds of openness, those kinds of tools as you guys all step out into this wild world. You deserve to feel as optimistic and inspired as I did at your age and know that you embody all our very best hopes and finest dreams.”

Among the speakers at the event were SBU President Maurie McInnis, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and student speaker for the Class of 2022 Ahmed Syed, a biology major. During his speech, Syed told his fellow SBU students about his parents who moved to the U.S. from India when they were in their 30s. Syed’s three brothers also graduated from SBU, and his older sibling, who is now a doctor in Florida, was the student speaker when he graduated from the university.  

“Stony Brook wasn’t just a college our family went to, it’s been our legacy,” Syed said. “Understand that my parents came here with nothing and now all four of their sons are college graduates. Not just four college graduates, but four Seawolves. This is nothing more than a testament to what Stony Brook stands for.”

After acknowledging exceptional students in the graduating class, McInnis had praise for all the members who she said inspired her and others.

“As you join Stony Brook’s more than 200,000 alumni across the globe, I hope you’ll stay connected to this unique and passionate community,” the university president said. “I hope you’ll continue to see Stony Brook as a second home, one that celebrates all you accomplish, strengthens your critical perspectives and supports your most ambitious endeavors.”

She quoted Jackson Pollock who once said, “Each age finds its own technique.”

“With the Class of 2022, it is very clear to me that your technique is to maintain a truly creative and collaborative spirit that will be your path forward,” McInnis said. “I know you will move together as individuals with a sense of discovery, ambition, innovation and artistry. Stony Brook University is incredibly proud of all you have achieved here — and all you will go on to create.”

The Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Class of 2021 celebrated the culmination of four years of hard work at their graduation ceremony June 25. On a beautiful Friday evening, seniors received their diplomas and concluded their time as high school students.

Valedictorian Rithika Narayan reflected on the resiliency of the Class of 2021 and shared inspiring messages for the future.

“I urge you to turn your departures into arrivals. Cherish who and what you’ve loved and learned at John Glenn, both academically and personally, and tuck them into your luggage for the next stop on your journey,” she said. 

Salutatorian Daniel Rourke and Class of 2021 Secretary Kerri Giambruno also spoke, offering words of encouragement to their fellow peers.