Elmont Memorial High School’s Class of 2019 entered the school’s 62nd annual commencement on June 30 filled with excitement and anticipation as they readied to begin the next chapter of their lives.
During the ceremony, the students heard remarks from class president Eloni Peralta and salutatorian Sabah Ahsan, who told her peers, while high school had some great moments, such as the prom and senior barbeque, it wasn’t completely perfect.
“When I look back, I realize that my best moments were not when I got a 100 on a final, or a 5 on an AP exam, but rather the moments I spent with family and friends. Those moments were rare in my high school career. I made a decision and chose academics over my relationships,” Ahsan said. “I’m not trying to discourage you from academics; rather, I’m trying to make a point. Achieving success in academics or your career may satisfy you; however, if you have people beside you cheering you on, like we all do today, it makes success feel so much better.”
Valedictorian Lauren Munn urged classmates to hold onto their memories of Elmont Memorial as they turn the page on the next chapter of their lives.
“The memory of me walking back and forth on Elmont Road to get to school will never leave my mind. I have walked and sprinted through the rain, sun and snow to get to a place I will always call home. I know that we all have to take different walks to our new destination, but do not let that scare you. Take the walk to college and create a new path unique to you,” she said.
New York State senators Todd Kaminsky and Anna Kaplan and Sewanhaka Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Ferrie also addressed the students, as did Principal Kevin Dougherty, who asked students to be kind, follow their hearts and always stand up for what they believe in.
The Class of 2019 presented Dr. Ferrie, who retired this year, with refurbished seats decorated with logos from all five high schools in the district. The seats were removed from the school’s auditorium as part of the district’s bond referendum.
The milestone ceremony was highlighted by incredible musical performances by the Senior Select Choir and the school’s concert band. It concluded with students being presented their diplomas and the singing of the school’s alma mater.