Class of 2013 Celebrates Milestones, Looks Forward to Next Steps

The Class of 2013 took their final steps onto the Shoreham-Wading River High School field on June 22 at the district’s 37th Commencement Exercises. As a class of achievers, all students walked with their heads held high to enormous applause and praise by parents, family and peers. The ceremony was laced with special performances and speeches by members of the senior class.
To begin the celebration, student government co-presidents Clare Blombert and Alyssa Pearce led the graduates in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of the national anthem by Kerri Beacon. Board of Education Vice President Richard Pluschau then addressed the graduates with words of wisdom, followed by the salutatory address by Taylor Brant. In her speech, Taylor spoke about obstacles and told her fellow graduates that “we must accept that bumps in the road will happen.” She noted, however, that obstacles are what shape us and define who we are.
The ceremony continued with an address by special guest Congressman Timothy Bishop, who had four pieces of advice for the Class of 2013. First, Congressman Bishop told the graduates to question authority, but to be armed with the knowledge to do so. “Learn a little bit about a lot,” he said, “and learn a lot about a little.” Congressman Bishop continued his address by telling students to “get in the game,” noting the importance of getting involved and making a difference in the world. The third point he made to the class was that one individual has the power to influence change. Congressman Bishop spoke about Shoreham-Wading River High School’s Global Awareness Club and how much of a difference its members have made on the world thus far. Finally, the congressman told graduates to “value civility in all that you say and do.”

Following Congressman Bishop’s address, senior class member Eric Lopez sung “You Raise Me Up,” an emotional rendition that showcased his tremendous talent. Valedictorian Cari Gostic then had the opportunity to address her peers, speaking about how growing up, she learned about the type of person she wanted to be. “The person I want to be is someone who brings happiness to others,” she said. She noted that in her eyes, success isn’t defined by how much money someone makes, but by “those who are thankful for having us in their lives.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Cohen followed Cari’s remarks and talked about the evolution of technology in today’s society, citing how increasing technological advances such as Google Glass have made the Internet even more ubiquitous. High School Principal Daniel Holtzman also offered his thoughts and congratulations to the students. “As a class, your commitment to public service on local and international levels, service as role models in the creation of a positive school environment, and academic success are but a few qualities out of many that make our school the special place that it is,” he said.

To the excitement of all gathered at the ceremony, diplomas were then presented to the Class of 2013. Members of the class were called to the podium to receive their diplomas, to the cheers of their family and friends. Once officially announced as graduates, these young adults celebrated by tossing their caps into the air. Congratulations to the Class of 2013 and much success in your years ahead!