Written by Allison Schneider Friday, 08 July 2011 00:00
Nobody makes it through high school without learning how to adapt and transition. Graduation day Friday June 24 proved to be no different. Everyone was seated anxiously waiting for the ceremony to begin, when it was decided due to inclement weather to move the event inside to the gym. It was amazing how quickly the alteration occurred as the gym filled to capacity.
The Manhasset tradition of the salute to the flag and sounding of the bell was initiated by class president Britten Christina Really. Shortly after, Superintendent Mr. Charles Cardillo gave a personal account of the many teachers touched by the colorful and gifted students of the class of 2011. Direct quotes of students and their positive experiences of Manhasset High School were cited as well. He spoke with great emotion about the recent loss of a kind, gentle, and gifted teacher, Mr. Don Scott. Through these words he reminded everyone about how the school is a family, most importantly, a place where students should feel safe to revisit.
Music performances were laced throughout the ceremony including the wind ensemble’s construction of the Star Spangled Banner. No. 4 in C Major was also performed by the String Quartet which consisted of Alexandra Golly, Grace Han, Jennifer Park, and Tobi Simon. The Salutatorian’s Address by Elena Avalos- Bach likened the class’ success over the past 13 years, to the composition of a symphony. The institution of ideas that did and didn’t work shaped the achievements of the graduating class. As the piece took shape each student discovered who they were individually; and through this comparison of each student Elena stated, “Collectively, we made up the melody, counter melody, harmony, and rhythm of our symphony.”
At this point Silver M Society President Mr. Richard Bennett inducted the following students; Jennifer Aitken, Patrick Aloia, Elena Avalos- Bach, Shaunak Bakshi, Audrey Edelstein, Leanne Finamore, Tim He, and Kristin Shirley. Two faculty members were also inducted, including math teach Curt Boddie, now deceased, and Mark Van Schenkhof, current music vocal director. Due to the guidance of Mr. Van Schenkhof the select senior vocalist’s -proved very entertaining through their performance of Overture frown II Barbeire id Squigglier by Rossini.
Raymond Luong, 2011 Valedictorian, reminded all of how obsessed society has become with time, as technology has made the obsession a reality. He cautioned his classmates to gain perspective in time by remembering Einstein’s theory of relativity, as speed increases time slows down. Through references to time in literature, science, math, music, art, and sports he proved this theory. He said, “My hope for this class is that we slow down the ever-accelerating pace of our lives, while maintaining the incredible zeal for life that has brought us to the joyous day.” As the Valedictorian spoke time stood still for the class of 2011, momentarily not mindful of the journey they would be embarking upon, as they moved on from high school.
With great pleasure the 911 memorial class gift was presented. Senior class advisor Mrs. Angela Ferguson spoke succinctly about looking to the future. Although her words were brief, she left many students bright eyed as they realized that high school was coming to an end, but their lives were just beginning.
Dr. Dean Schlanger, Manhasset high school principal, addressed the class of 2011 encouraging them to give back to humanity. He compared the rewards in life to his favorite children’s book that he and his daughter share. Through his speech he described how to make each day fulfilling and precious. But he left the class of 2011 with the most memorable praise of all “Go get em!”
With that each graduate stood up proudly and received their diplomas with enthusiasm. Each diploma was paired with proud family members, who were there to cheer their children on to what seemed like the highlight of their teenage lives. With the help of board members Cindy Cardinal, Patricia Aitken, Craig Anderson, Carlo Prinzo, and Regina Rule the graduates received their diplomas, and friendly support.
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the Alma Mater and recessional by the Manhasset High School Wind Ensemble. A sense of accomplishment was flowing throughout the gymnasium, as the graduation ended.
Congratulations class of 2011!