Debuting gender-neutral green gowns, accented with gold stoles, Ward Melville High School’s graduating seniors took their places in front of the school’s clock tower Sunday.
A satisfying cap to the Three Village school district’s 50th year, more than 600 students received diplomas at the commencement ceremony.
Ward Melville’s principal Dr. Alan Baum reminded those in the class of 2017 that they come from a 50-year tradition of greatness and will continue the tradition because they are “unbounded and unlimited.”
Salutatorian Isabelle Scott and Valedictorian Kirti Nath celebrated the individual gifts of their classmates.
“There is no person here without accomplishment today,” Scott said. “Parents, faculty, our victory is yours, too.”
The salutatorian urged her classmates to be true to themselves.
“I hope, if nothing else, that you do the things to make yourself proud,” she said. “Your life deserves nothing less.”
Nath encouraged her classmates to look on their mistakes as opportunities to move forward or gain strength.
“We don’t have to pretend that everything in high school is easy, because that’s what makes today so uniquely special,” she said. “And even though you may not have realized it at the moment, every fall was indeed a fall forward, moving us closer to success — and, if not success, then strength.”
The class gift — additional picnic tables for the football field — was presented by Brandon Cea, student government president.
Three Village school board president, William F. Connors, had advice for the soon-to-be graduates.
“I urge you to work hard, work to your potential and believe in yourself,” Connors said.