A beautiful evening was the backdrop for the Shoreham-Wading River High School’s 45th commencement exercises on June 25.
The Class of 2021 proudly walked onto the football field led by Principal Frank Pugliese and Assistant Principal John Holownia, followed by administrators, Board of Education members and the school’s newest graduates.
Mr. Pugliese, along with American Sign Language interpreters Amy Grohs and Kelly Logan, led the honored crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. They were followed by the national anthem, sung by Eric Guli, Emma Longboat, Grace McMillan and Michael Sabino. Mr. Pugliese thanked Superintendent of Schools Mr. Gerard Poole and shared his gratitude to all who made the school year successful and for bringing the Class of 2021 to this special moment. Guidance counselors Ms. Lucy Eschbach and Mr. Sal Rosato introduced the top three students.
Salutatorian Daniel Julian was the first student speaker, who wisely compared the challenges and obstacles of his fellow graduates to themes in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” and expressed his pride in being a graduate of the district.
Mr. Holownia recognized students Owen Beran, Jack Ekert, Jeffrey Lachenmeyer and Olivia Wilcox for their future service in protecting our country as members of the military. Daniel, who will attend Stony Brook University as part of Stony Brook’s Honors College, then performed Jerome Kern’s “All the Things You Are” on saxophone.
Valedictorian Owen Beran shared memories and words of gratitude and used a ship as a metaphor to building a successful future, as a nod to his future as a member of the incoming class of the United States Naval Academy, where he will major in nuclear engineering.
Valedictorian Mika Misawa, who will join the freshman class at Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences, thanked teachers, family members and her fellow classmates for their efforts and commitment. She encouraged her peers to lend a listening ear or extend a hand to build a brighter future for all.
Wildcat Athletic Club President Edward Troyano then presented the club’s annual commemorative coin and was thanked for his nine years of service to the students of the district. Superintendent Mr. Poole then shared wise words of optimism and hope for the future. He encouraged the graduates to approach challenges as opportunities with an optimistic attitude and seek joy in the future. Mr. Pugliese then thanked first responders and again recognized exceptional academic seniors. He reminded students of their 13 years of school in Shoreham-Wading River with experiences shared from teachers throughout each year of their educational career.
The diplomas were then presented by Board of Education President Michael Lewis, Vice President Katie Andersen and trustees Henry Perez, Robert Rose, Thomas Sheridan, James Smith and Meghan Tepfenhardt.
The school community thanks the Shoreham-Wading River concert band, led by Mr. Kevin O’Brien, who added music to the ceremonies with the processional and recessional. In addition, a thank-you to teachers Mrs. Mary Hygom and Mr. Jason Malvagno, who served as lectors as each student was called to the podium to pick up their diploma.