Saluting Graduates

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In what made for a joyous and celebratory event, family members, friends and educators packed Babylon High School’s Coach Williams Memorial Field for the Class of 2013 commencement ceremony on June 22.

Following members of the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Color Guard, the American Celtic Pipe Band and high school administrators and teachers, soon-to-be graduates were aglow with smiles as they proceeded to their seats on the field.

The ceremony began with opening remarks from Assistant Principal Steven Goldberg, as well as a salute to the flag by Senior Class President Genevieve Gravina and Vice President Alex Malhas. Genevieve and Student Council President Carolanne Murphy offered reflective speeches to their classmates, while Principal Al Cirone and Mr. Goldberg offered words of praise for students’ successes and optimism for their future.  

Mr. Cirone advised students to always keep in mind that happiness is not measured by money, but by the passion one has for what they love. “I’m smiling inside because you care; you give all of us hope that you’ll succeed and live up to your full potential,” he said. “Get out there. Join the world. Take action. Get in the game. Find your passion. Give back.”

Mr. Goldberg emphasized that while graduates will continue to face new obstacles and challenges, he had confidence that they would meet such challenges head-on. “You are embarking on a new journey,” he said. “As you enter this new journey, you have the opportunity for new beginnings. I encourage you to get involved in community endeavors, try new things and take on more challenges. You define who you are.”

Board of Education President Dominic Bencivenga and Superintendent of Schools Richard Rozakis discussed overcoming obstacles, while valedictorian Delaney Cassidy and salutatorian Kerry Glenday spoke about moving forward in life but always remembering one’s Babylon High School roots. A farewell address was delivered by faculty member Michelle Scharff.

Kerry pointed out that although graduation is bittersweet, students will never leave behind the memories their school had instilled in them. “Today we will leave Babylon High School behind and take our first step into the future,” she said. “No matter what we make of the rest of our lives, we will always have our strong beginnings here.”

“Today, the day we graduate high school, is a day worth smiling for,” stated Delaney. “Smile because it’s over, smile because it happened, smile just because. High school provides a framework everyone needs to be successful in life. In 10 to 20 years, when you look back on your life, you’ll realize how lucky you were to go to school here.”

“You are special, and you are unique,” Mr. Bencivenga said. “I am confident you will succeed and do great things when you leave Babylon. I believe your experiences will bring you a unique perspective and inner strength that will set you apart from others as you go through life. Tell life, ‘bring it on.’ My money’s on you.”

Mr. Rozakis discussed how graduation for students is a major change, but that change is a sign of growth and progress. “When you leave here today, you will be graduates of the Class of 2013,” he said. “That’s a huge change — one of the first big milestones of a very long and prosperous life.”

Following speeches from students, administrators and educators, students took to the dais one by one to receive their diplomas. Several graduating students also joined their fellow musicians to perform a number of selections with the school’s chorus and band.

The ceremony closed with the traditional release of white doves, symbolizing a hopeful future for the graduates, who marked their first moments as alumni by tossing their caps into the air.