Sanford H. Calhoun High School’s commencement ceremony, which was held on June 30 at the NYCB Theatre and saw the send-off of more than 300 graduates, was a celebration of perseverance and personal achievement.
“Use failure to propel you forward,” Principal Nicole Hollings told graduates before belting out an a cappella version of “This is Me.” “There will be times when you will feel powerless, but you will always have the control to be just, honest and loving.”
Board member Edward Corona, a 34-year high school math teacher, reflected on the importance of seemingly difficult lessons and their relevance later in life.
“I challenged you to seek deeper meanings,” he said about the students’ overall educational experience. “Expect to be confused, but be confident that you will also be well equipped from the various resources obtained throughout your time in Bellmore-Merrick schools.”
Co-senior class adviser Nikole DeLuca pressed that life will always be a series of firsts and lasts, but to also focus on the “many indelible moments in between.” Her co-senior class adviser Ricky Posner told students to “carve a path that is right for you.”
“Trust yourself and live your life with happiness, health and family in mind,” DeLuca added.
Class President Tara Cavanagh reflected on the four-year journey to finally become class night champions.
“We learned from our mistakes and spent four years trying to make things better,” Cavanagh said. “Our class has proved themselves a lot these past four years.”
Salutatorian Jessica Lin colorfully told her story of growing up with immigrant parents who operated a Chinese kitchen.
“Through working at the restaurant, I’ve learned compassion and sacrifice, and I was able to translate these values into my time at Calhoun,” she said. “It also helped me learn how to bring people together through culture.”
Valedictorian Senya Huda spoke about moving on.
“Our time at Calhoun has not only told us what to learn, but how to learn,” she said. “It is now our job to use our education to help change the world and give back to our communities.”