Written by Elizabeth Sobel Friday, 21 June 2013 00:00
The atmosphere was filled with much excitement as the 258 graduates of the Class of 2013 as Division Avenue High School proceeded onto the floor of Hofstra University’s Mack Sports Complex to take the first step in the next chapter of their lives. Under the direction of Mark Martufi, the Division Avenue High School Orchestra played “Pomp and Circumstance” to announce the beginning of Division’s 54th annual commencement exercises. Student Council President Felicia Comuniello led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, while the Senior Chamber Singers sang the national anthem.
Principal Dr. Francesco Ianni welcomed guests to the special occasion. In his address to the graduates, Dr. Ianni noted that it is their job to take Division Avenue pride to another level. “Don’t be a name on a roster,” he said. “Bring your story loud and clear; it is up to you to stand tall and be heard.”
Senator Charles Schumer, Councilman Gary Hudes and Legislator Dennis Dunne reflected on their past experiences and encouraged the students to reach for their dreams, work towards their goals and remember that parents are parachutes that will always try to keep them safe.
In his address to fellow classmates, valedictorian James Reilly explained that we are all authors to our own novels, of which there is only one copy. “Be your own writer, editor, publicist and critic,” Reilly advised. “You want to be satisfied with your work. Personalize it and enjoy every minute.”
Salutatorian Sukhneet Sahota asked the rhetorical question, “What do you want to do?” She explained that each graduate could answer this question if they do not succumb to fear. “You make the world what you want it to be for yourself,” she stated.
In a cherished tradition, the audience and graduates took time out from the celebratory speeches to watch a commemorative video presentation that featured photographs and short video clips of the seniors’ last year together.
Board of Education Vice President Peter Porrazzo then certified that the seniors had met the requirements for graduation, upon which each graduate was called to the podium to receive their diplomas and become an alumnus of the Levittown School District.