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Sewanhaka’s Class of 2018 Graduates

Members of Sewanhaka High School’s Class of 2018 joined for one last time as they bid a heartfelt farewell to their alma mater and looked forward to new beginnings at the school’s annual commencement ceremony on June 23.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Ferrie, senior class president Sukhvinder-Singh Hare and salutatorian Adrian-James Gevero addressed the graduates.

“I look out at Sewanhaka’s Class of 2018 and I see individuals who don’t sit idly by, individuals who seek more than what they’re given, and it is these very same people who will go on to change the world how they see fit. And I, personally, could not be more honored to be graduating alongside you,” Gevero said.

Valedictorian Arianna Vandezande asked her fellow graduates what they thought of when they heard the word “hero,” and then reminded them that heroes in movies aren’t real.

“A hero is someone we admire, aspire to become, helps us better ourselves and the world around us. Look around you. Look back to your sports teams, school clubs, classrooms and your own homes. Teachers, coaches, family and friends are all heroes in their own personal ways to you,” she said. “In the Disney movie ‘Hercules,’ Zeus says to Hercules, ‘A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.’ None of those people are heroes because of their physical strength, but because they willingly gave their hearts to you. They want to see you reach your potential. They want to see you be successful and thriving. They want to see you at your best and your happiest. So for the heroes in your life, shatter their expectations and make them prouder than ever, because you wouldn’t be who or where you are today without them.”

Principal Dr. Christopher Salinas reflected on the graduates’ accomplishments. He also presented the Harold W. Wright Memorial Award to Gevero, the Anthony T. Dwyer Memorial Award to Antonio Caputo and Hall of Fame Awards to Olufisayo Atanda-Ogunleye, Gevero, Nicholas LaGrega, Kaitlyn Milinic, Emma Reifschneider, Jessica Staiano and Vandezande.

The ceremony was highlighted by musical performances from the senior high chorus and band. It continued with the conferral of diplomas.