Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:00
Hofstra University’s Mack Sports Complex was a sea of blue caps and gowns as 359 graduates from the Class of 2013 celebrated a long-awaited milestone in their educational careers during MacArthur High School’s 52nd annual commencement exercises. Led by School Principal Kathleen Valentino, members of the administration and staff, and Board of Education trustees, the graduates filed onto the arena floor to the symphonic band’s serenade of “Pomp and Circumstance,” performed under the conductorship of Joseph Romano.
Class of 2013 President Alexander Crawford led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, after which the senior choir members sang the national anthem. Valentino then addressed the students on the merits of human connection often lost in an era of technology. “It is through others’ eyes that you will see the impact of your words,” she stated. “Truly stop and look at those you cherish. Keep that human connection alive.”
In his address, Salutatorian Harley Dietz reminded the students, “One thing is true – that life will change for us all.” He urged his fellow classmates to keep pushing and to stay motivated to reach goals and dreams.
Valedictorian Liam Lang then warned his peers not to underestimate the tools that they will need in the adult world. “High school is a foundation for our future,” he stated. “Don’t pursue a career to make money, but find one that will make you happy.”
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Town Councilman Gary Hudes and County Legislator Dennis Dunne also reflected on their past experiences and encouraged the students to reach for their dreams. Board of Education President Michael Pappas referred to parents as the “co-pilots in their children’s lives” and a support system that has made the Class of 2013 kind, compassionate and loving human beings.
In a cherished graduation tradition, the audience and graduates took time out of the celebratory speeches to watch a commemorative video presentation of the seniors’ last year together. One by one, the graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and become alumni of the school district.