Written by Enterprise-Pilot Staff, firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00
Sunday, June 29 was a perfect day in Oyster Bay: at 85 degrees under bright blue skies, you couldn’t have asked for better conditions to celebrate the commencement of the Class of 2014.
At the stroke of noon, Matthew Sisia raised his baton and the Oyster Bay High School combined Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble struck the familiar chords of Edward Elgar’s venerable classic, “Pomp and Circumstance.”The crowd was soon surrounded by a sea of purple and white robes as the graduates marched out the doors of the high school led by the Honorary Marshals from the Class of 2014, Cassidy Archdeacon, Jared Hirsh, Devon Losee, and Rachel Wesley.Oyster Bay High School Senior Class President Mark Stutzmann led the hundreds of family, friends, and on lookers assembled on the front lawn of the high school in the Pledge of Allegiance. The OBHS Chamber Singers sang a beautiful version of the “Star Spangled Banner” under the direction of Seanna Burke.
Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara, in his opening remarks, said, “This group of graduates, like those before them have achieved above state and national averages academically. In fact, the top five students in the Class of 2014 would have been either the valedictorian or salutatorian of any class as far back as I could find data. I am proud to say that every soon-to-be graduate of the Class of 2014 is fully accounted for in terms of college, career plans or military service.”
Dr. O’Hara concluded his address by charging the grads to “follow your passions, keep your intentions pure, and endeavor to make a difference, one person at a time.”
Dr. O’Hara turned the podium over to Congressman Steve Israel, who shared with the graduates his pride in Long Island whose engineers built the space craft that landed men on the moon. He recognized the Oyster Bay High School Valedictorian Cindy Hom, who will be attending Georgetown University this fall. He offered her an internship in his Washington, DC office.
Dr. O’Hara then welcomed Rebecca Layne to the podium to deliver the address of welcome as salutatorian of the Class of 2014.
Layne will be attending Stanford University this fall, where she will study applied math.
While at OBHS, Layne excelled as a member of the soccer and lacrosse teams. Layne was recognized for her achievements by being chosen as a News 12 Scholar Athlete.
Layne was a member of the OBHS chapter of the National Honor Society, the French Honor Society, the Science Honor Society, and the Tri-M Honor Society. She also played the French horn in the OBHS Wind Ensemble and performed at Carnegie Hall in March 2014.
Layne served as President of National Honor Society and Vice President of French Honor Society. This summer Rebecca will continue her studies of Epigenetics at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.
In her address, Layne said, “I’m proud to stand here today, but I’m even prouder to have been a part of all this. Our achievements were possible because we have supported each other along the way. We shaped each other into diligent students, daring leaders, fierce competitors, and, mostly, kind, caring, and accepting human beings.
“Our time together went by too quickly. But, in the end, time is a gift. Continue to use every moment wisely, and cherish it for it cannot be replaced. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. In your next four years, keep exploring, thriving, and working towards wherever your passions lie. Believe in yourself, for, among us, I see creative innovators, compassionate individuals, and leaders of tomorrow. Engage yourself in your community. Never avoid a challenge for fear of failure. And dare to make a difference.”
Dr. Laura Seinfeld offered advice to the Class of 2014 in her first graduation address as Superintendent of Schools. As has been the tone of Dr. Seinfeld’s first year as superintendent, she involved and engaged the students as she reviewed this past year with dates highlighted by the birthdays of graduating seniors.
“This has been a most rewarding school year, mostly because of this group of young adults, who are life-long learners, do not settle for the status quo, choose kind, make safe decisions, work hard toward their dreams, and demonstrate the importance of collaboration and relationships with others. My heartiest congratulations to the Class of 2014.”
Dr. O’Hara welcomed the valedictorian, Cindy Hom, to the podium to deliver the farewell speech. She plans on attending Georgetown University in September, where she will study math, chemistry and possibly physics.
While at Oyster Bay High School, Cindy was a member of the OBHS chapter of the National Honor Society, the National Science Honor Society, the Business Honor Society, the Art Honor Society, and was the Publicity Officer for the Foreign Language Honor Society.
Hom is working toward the Gold Award in Girl Scouts. Her project is helping seniors with technology. She also works as a volunteer assistant teacher every Sunday for the Chinese School at OBHS.
Hom said, “Throughout the years we have laughed with our lifelong friends, formed close relationships with our teachers, and created joyous memories. High school is a great time in our life, but there will be plenty more to come. Life will not be easy. While mistakes will be made, and tears will be shed, as we continue on with the next phase of our lives, I am confident that we will all succeed, for we share a common trait: we were raised in a community that fosters compassion and selflessness.
“I feel privileged to have met some incredible people in Oyster Bay. Maya Angelou put it best when she said, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ Through my eyes, all of you will be remembered as kind, genuine, and extraordinary. I wish you the best with your future endeavors and I hope you know that you are important and can have an impact on the world. Reflect on your past, be honest with yourself, assess who you are in the present, and become the person you want to be.”
The Oyster Bay Senior Ensemble combined with the Chamber Singers provided a musical interlude singing a song called “Home,” made popular by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips.
Board of Education Vice-President Robin Dando took to the podium to offer her remarks, in which she said, “Today marks a milestone on your journey of life. Ahead lies the world, a blank canvas, waiting for you to make your mark. Whether you go to college, the military, or the workforce, continue to learn and challenge yourselves. If you make mistakes, learn from them, if you find yourselves on a path that doesn’t look so good, change it. And always remember to be kind. What we do and say does affect others.”
A special performance was inserted into the program as senior members of the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Singers came together to perform the Beatles song “In My Life.” The beautiful arrangement was written and conducted by graduating senior Steven Matthews and featured a wonderful piano solo by Hannah Kulis of the Class of 2014.
OBHS Chapter of the National Honor Society member Matthew Trieber introduced this year’s choice for the National Honor Society Honorary Inductee, OBHS French Teacher, Timothy McCarthy.
Diplomas were handed out, caps were thrown in the air, then off to parties and the rest of their lives as Oyster Bay High School Alumni.
Friday, 24 October 2014 00:00
Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”
Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.
As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”
Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:08
The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.
Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.
Thursday, 16 October 2014 08:58
5- and 6-year-old Peanuts
The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.
In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.