• 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.”  

    Salutatorian 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 it.”  
    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.