Friday, 05 July 2013 00:00
A beautiful first full day of summer provided the perfect backdrop for the first day of the rest of the lives of Glen Cove High School’s Class of 2013 graduates. As loving families and dedicated teachers and administrators came together to celebrate with pride and gratitude the outstanding accomplishments of these students, the grads made their way out onto J.C. Maiden Field for the last time in their educational careers to accept their high school diplomas.
As the high school band, led by Nick Carbuto, struck up the familiar strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” the graduates proudly marched onto the field. The Select Choir, led by Ed Norris, performed a celestial rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner,” marking the opening of the day’s festivities. Choir member and graduate Victoria Andreotti also served as guest conductor for the school alma mater.
Following valuable words of advice from Board of Education President and alumnus Joel Sunshine, GCHS Assistant Principal Allen Hudson and Interim Superintendent Louis Zocchia, faculty speaker Allison Butler-Spina provided some comic relief with a light-hearted address supported by humorous accompaniment from some members of the choir. She provided advisement on the overuse of social media, remembering where you came from, and even delivered a David Letterman-style top 10 list of school memories.
Salutatorian Nicole D’Ambrosio reflected on the last fours years at GCHS and beamed with pride while running off the names of some of the fine colleges and universities the Class of 2013 will be attending this fall. Honorarian Mario Serrano Sosa shared his personal story of being born in El Salvador, arriving at Glen Cove at age 5 and rising to become the high school’s third-ranked student, academically. Class President Carina Zupa provided a mental virtual tour of GCHS, acknowledging many warm and familiar faces that occupy such spaces as the main office, the guidance center, the cafeteria, and the athletic wing, among others.
Valedictorian Elias Blinkoff also shared his personal story of triumph over serious complications at birth that kept him in an incubator for several weeks before he could officially begin his climb to success. Elias offered some advice to students pursuing various interests and professions. In addition to thanking family, friends, teachers and classmates, he gave a special acknowledgement to Gribbin Elementary School teacher Caryn Stasco and Principal Francine Santoro, both of whom were in attendance.
Before the presentation of diplomas to the graduates, honorary diplomas were awarded to retirees Maria Brofka and Rosella Gallo.
After all the diplomas were distributed, the graduates turned their tassels from left to right then tossed their mortarboards into the air in celebration, officially concluding the ceremony and their K-12 careers, while commencing a myriad of futures filled with excellence.