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A Gladiator Send Off for the Class of 2018

New Hyde Park Memorial’s Class of 2018 completed their high school experience when they took hold of their diplomas at their commencement ceremony on June 24.

Speakers included New York State Senator Elaine Phillips, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Ferrie, senior class co-presidents Jonathan Lopez and Danielle Schwartz and Student Council president Nicholas Lopez.

Dr. Ferrie reflected on the importance of perseverance in life and cited the number of failures Dr. Seuss, Michael Jordan, Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney and others endured before achieving success.

“I hope that each of you perseveres to accomplish whatever goal that you have set for your future,” he said.

Principal Dr. Richard Faccio told the Class of 2018 to not to feel anxious about what lies ahead.

“It will hold great things for each of you, especially when you give it your all. There’s no guarantee where your path will lead you; however, wherever it leads you, I know you will try hard as you have done for the past six years,” he said.

Salutatorian Saumya Sharma compared life to a kaleidoscope and encouraged her peers to bend the way they think about challenging problems.

“Embrace the opportunity to learn about others’ quirks and life stories,” she said. “Turn that kaleidoscope and be brave, because only then will you create opportunities that most people insisted could never possibly exist.”

Valedictorian Arianna Ragusa shared a life lesson she learned with her peers.

“Everyone goes through things in life that aren’t always ideal, and no one knows what any person is truly going through at any given time. We all struggle in our own ways, and we all work hard to achieve what we want. Never let other people’s words or actions make you feel any less than you are.”

Musical performances by the school’s select choir and senior high school band were highlights of the ceremony, which continued with the awarding of diplomas and the traditional tossing of the caps.