Babylon celebrates 147 graduates

Class of 2019 Ready to Embark on New Journey photo

The sun was shining bright over the Coach Walter F. Williams Football Field at Babylon Junior-Senior High School on June 27, as 147 members of the Class of 2019 transitioned from students to graduates in front of families, friends board of education members, administrators and teachers. 

The ceremony kicked off with Senior Class Vice President Sydney Altbacker and Student Council Vice President Katherine Bencivenga leading the crowd in “The Pledge of Allegiance.” Everyone was also treated to beautiful performances by the Babylon High School band, orchestra and concert chorus throughout the evening. 

Several students and district staff members delivered moving speeches and provided words of advice to the graduating class.

High school Principal Al Cirone said the Class of 2019 is one he will never forget, as they have achieved many accomplishments in academics, community service, athletics and more. “For me, it’s about the type of people you are. I find you to be truly inclusive and humanistic. Everyone is willing to lend a hand,” he continued. “I’m going to bank on the hopes, the ideals and the positive qualities that I see in the Class of 2019 to make positive changes in this global community. The future is not some place you are going to but one you’re creating. Class of 2019, best of luck and stay gritty. I will miss you.”

Salutatorian Pavani Kumar took the stage and highlighted that change is inevitable in the new journey they’re about to enter. “Though we can’t control whether change will be positive or not, we can control how that change affects us,” she said. “We should allow change to lead us to wisdom and strength, as it is during those difficult times we discover who we truly are. Our time together has prepared us to embrace that change and to celebrate the new opportunities that come with it.”
In his valedictorian speech, Dylan Pane reflected on his time growing up in Babylon Village and said the surrounding community helped him become the person he is today. “All of us will be going on to do bigger and better things and as important as it is to look toward the future, it is also important to remember the past and where you come from,” he said. “To everyone who has worked hard to help us while we’ve been here, I want to extent my gratitude as none of us would be the people we are today without you.” 

Prior to the distribution of the diplomas, Superintendent of Schools Linda Rozzi encouraged students to remember the love and support of those who molded them, for the memories of home will bring peace and strength when needed. “Now it’s your time to follow your dreams, build upon your talents and most importantly, do what you love,” she said. “It makes me happy to know that Babylon High School Class of 2019 will be well represented at universities throughout our nation, in the armed forces and in the career world.”

One-by-one, students stepped on the stage to receive their diplomas and then joined together in the ceremonial cap toss.