Floral Park Memorial High School’s Class of 2017 entered the David S.
Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on June 24 with pride as they eagerly
anticipated receiving their high school diplomas during the school’s
60th annual commencement exercises.
The milestone ceremony
included words of encouragement and advice from U.S. Senator Charles
Schumer, New York State Senator Elaine Phillips and Sewanhaka Central
High School District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie, who reflected on a
quote from Mark Twain, which focused on regret and encourages “throwing
off the bowlines” or taking chances.
“The Class of 2017 has
demonstrated its willingness both as individuals, groups and teams to be
“doers” and take on challenges academically, athletically and the
arts,” Dr. Ferrie said. “You have certainly made a positive impact on
our school district and have shown that you are willing “to throw off
the bowline” in order to explore new opportunities and experiences.”
Aideen Gill told classmates to “find their people” once in college to
help them share the successes and weather the failures, while
valedictorian Luke deArmas looked back on all the achievements and
community service efforts the class had taken part in during their time
at Floral Park Memorial.
“With so many accomplishments behind
you, you can only grow from here,” deArmas said. “Your talents,
resourcefulness and creativity will take you far. As wise Fleetwood Mac
once sang, “Go Your Own Way.” Remember to thank everyone who had a part
in bringing you to this moment. As proud as we are of these four years,
do not make these your best four years. Time flies, so make the most of
Also highlighting the ceremony were musical
performances by the school’s band, under the direction of Lee Duke and
the L.I. Sounds choir group. Students were then awarded their diplomas
and celebrated by tossing their caps.