Ward Melville High School held 11 separate socially distanced graduation ceremonies July 18 and July 19 to comply with New York State guidelines.
During the last few months, like many districts across the state, school administrators discussed several ideas about what to do for graduation. In a letter to Ward Melville seniors and families earlier in July, administrators announced that the school was developing a plan to host in-person commencements over the course of two days.
In June the school had hoped to hold a ceremony with all the students after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the state would allow 150 attendees at graduations, hoping the number would increase. However, when the maximum capacity was not raised, Ward Melville opted for multiple ceremonies where seniors were allowed to bring two guests each and were spread out on the high school’s front lawn.
Each ceremony began with a recorded version of “Pomp and Circumstance” followed by an in-person performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by graduating senior Jordan Amato. Class of 2020 valedictorian William Sun and salutatorian Matthew Fiorella delivered commencement speeches during each of the 11 ceremonies.
Class of 2020 Student Government President Sarah Thornton also announced that this year’s class gift would be a new tree, bench and rock inscribed with a quote at the front part of the school lawn.