Written by Margaret Whitely: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00
The 304 graduates marched proudly into the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex led by their beloved principal Michael DeMartino, who after 39 years of serving the district, is set to retire.
DeMartino said, “Today is a bittersweet day. I have loved every minute of it, but it’s time.” He and his wife plan to travel and visit their grandchildren in various sections of the country, which they have never been able to do.
Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello, a ’78 graduate of New Hyde Park Memorial and a lifetime resident of New Hyde Park, started his speech off by saying, “As fairly new graduates of Memorial, I asked my two children, Kathleen and Patrick, what they thought I should say to the graduating class and they both replied, ‘Kiss’ (Keep It Short Stupid!) and he followed their advice and did just that but not before he praised retiring principal DeMartino for all the time he has given to New Hyde Park Memorial and the district.
He said that the world changes so rapidly. Nicolello continued, “You have iPhones, iPads and in my day we had rotary phones and vinyl records we had to play on turntables.
“Today everyone lathers themselves with sunscreen lotion and sunblock. In my day we lathered ourselves with baby oil and baked in the sun.”
He continued, “Dare to be different and don’t forget Dr. Seuss who said, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind!”
He ended his speech by saying, “And don’t ever go to the beach and put baby oil on to achieve a tan!”
As usual, choir director Robert McKinnon had the choir sing two beautiful renditions; one of “Fields of Gold” and the other of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.”
The band, always so exceptional, performed selections from Hairspray under the direction of Noel Monat.
Several students spoke including the student council president Nirmala Singh, senior class president Devon DeSanna, valedictorian Geoffrey Lin and salutatorian Parth Trivedi all giving morsels of advice to their fellow graduates.