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.