Class of 2019 Begins the Next Chapter

Class of 2019 Begins the Next Chapter  thumbnail121418

It was a day of new beginnings as 189 graduates from the Class of 2019 processed onto the football field to the concert band’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” under the baton of music teacher Kevin O’Brien, during the school’s 43rd commencement exercises, held on June 28. Senior Brennan Gorman led the graduates and their families in the Pledge of Allegiance, assisted by American Sign Language interpreters, seniors Megan Busch and Maggie Passamonte. Senior Sophia Mastrangelo followed and sang the national anthem.

In his opening address, Principal Frank Pugliese called for a moment of silence for graduate Melissa Marchese, who died as a result of an automobile accident earlier in the month. He also took time to congratulate the young men and women from the class who had enlisted in all four branches of the country’s military.

Mr. Pugliese advised the graduates to always be themselves. “Do your own thing, establish who you are and go with it,” he said. “You are infinitely better being yourself than being like someone else.”

Valedictorian Mahdi Rashidzada said that “the greatness of the school was measured by the character of the students who walked the hallways and filled the classrooms.” He also said he and his classmates are cognizant of the support and opportunities provided by teachers and parents. Salutatorian Katlynn McGivney spoke about the experiences and lessons she learned during her years at the high school and told her peers that they are “starting a new journey.”

Senior Christopher Wygonik gave a stunning musical performance of “Concerto for Trombone,” by Derek Bourgeois, which Wygonik arranged for this special occasion.

Superintendent of Schools Gerard Poole said he felt optimism, joy and awe for the Class of 2019 for their accomplishments, willingness to take on issues and the students’ contributions to the community.

“The Class of 2019 is poised for a lifetime of success,” he noted. “What you have achieved was intersected with opportunities provided to you. Don’t rest on your laurels, but instead set new goals for yourselves.”

After Mr. Pugliese certified that the standards for graduation had been met for the Class of 2019, each student was called to the podium to receive his or her diploma and a commemorative coin from Wildcat Athletic Club President Edward Troyano. After all of the graduates’ names were called, the faculty read with much emotion Melissa Marchese’s name, while her sister Heather ascended the podium to receive Melissa’s diploma to the cheers of classmates and the release of white doves.

The Shoreham-Wading River School District extends best wishes of happiness and success to the Class of 2019.