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Congratulations, Floral Park Class of 2019!

Floral Park Memorial High School’s Class of 2019 was filled with excitement entering the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex at Hofstra University on June 29 for the school’s 62nd annual commencement ceremony.

The milestone ceremony included words of encouragement and advice from Principal Maria Hecht and Sewanhaka Central High School District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie, who shared quotes from author Garth Stein, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi on creating one’s own destiny, striving for excellence and the importance of hard work. He also reminded the graduating seniors to remember their values.

“Following graduation, each of you will have different aspirations and will pursue different goals in life,” Dr. Ferrie said. “Remember, in addition to academic, social, athletic or artistic success, please continue to pay close attention to your values and character development.”

Dr. Ferrie, who is retiring, was presented a gift from the Class of 2019 to thank him for the impact he has had on the district. Senior Elizabeth Calandra congratulated him on an incredible career as superintendent.

During her remarks, salutatorian Tara Tam told her peers it was time to become independent and speak for themselves.

“Anyone else could tell you what to do and how to do it, but it won’t be a reflection of you. It won’t be representative of your own effort, your own connections, your own success and your own satisfaction. Our adventures start with us choosing our destinations. So pick your destination and enjoy the journey,” she said.

Valedictorian Kyle Sahadeo told his peers that he knew they would be successful in the future.

“The uncertainty of what’s to come may seem frightening, and maybe you don’t have your life planned out right now, and that’s okay. I sure don’t, but I know that we’ll succeed,” he said.

Also highlighting the ceremony were musical performances by the school’s band, under the direction of John Smykowski, and senior choral members and the L.I. Sounds choir group, led by teacher Samantha Koch. The ceremony concluded with students being awarded their diplomas and tossing their caps in celebration.