New Hyde Park Memorial’s Class of 2015 bid farewell to high school when they took hold of their diplomas at their commencement ceremony at Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on June 28.
Speakers included Sewanhaka Central High School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Ferrie, Senior Class President Jalissa Sanchez and Principal Dr. Richard Faccio, who quoted “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us” by author Seth Godin during his remarks, encouraging students to be leaders in the future.
“If you think leadership is for other people, you’re wrong. We need you to lead,” Dr. Faccio said.
Salutatorian Morgan Roth asked her fellow graduates to play Truth or Dare. “I’ll go first,” Roth said. “I dare you to become the person you’ve always envisioned yourself to be, I dare you to follow your dreams no matter how unrealistic others say they are, and I dare you to pursue a career that brings you nothing but joy.”
Valedictorian Jay Shah, who also served as the school’s student council president, spoke about what he had learned during his time at New Hyde Park Memorial, including what it means to be a leader.
“Each and every one of us can be a leader,” Shah said. “We need not change the lives of thousands, we only need to change the life of one. Sometimes all it takes is asking someone about their day or lending a helping hand to a colleague in need or providing a shoulder for a friend to cry on. Success is not defined by how far we get in life; rather, it’s defined by how far the people around us get as a result of our assistance.”
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.