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Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Emma Weissman was congratulated by Board of Education President Liz Dion.
South Side sends off the class of 2013
Christina Daly/Herald
Salutatorian Deanna Mostowfi, left, and valedictorian Justine Hamilton.

The South Side High School class of 2013 gathered one last time for its commencement ceremony at Hofstra University on June 21.

Blue robes were everywhere in the Mack Sports Complex gym as Rockville Centre School District administrators, SSHS faculty and staff, Board of Education trustees and village representatives, including Deputy Mayor Nancy Howard and newly re-elected Trustee Edward Oppenheimer, lined the stage to wish the graduates a final farewell. After the procession, Michaela Beck, president of the Student Government Association, led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance before Lauren Baez’s performance of the national anthem.

In her opening speech, salutatorian Deanna Mostowfi kept the audience laughing, but didn’t shy away from poignant recollections of her time with her classmates. “What kept us going is how we motivated each other,” she said. “And isn’t that amazing? Now let’s go out there and spend our parents’ life savings these next four years.”

Principal Dr. Carol Burris, Superintendent Dr. William Johnson and Bobbe Edelson, of the SSHS Alumni Association, presented the school’s top four awards to Clare Carey (Centennial Award for School and Community), McKingsley Williams (Dr. Richard S. Byers School and Community Service Award), Michael Garcia (Laurel Award for Boys) and Michaela Beck (Laurel Award for Girls).

The valedictorian, Justine Hamilton, speaking after the presentations, reminded her fellow graduates of their many different backgrounds — and of their unity these past four years. “Although we were all different, we’ve proven our ability to come together and work as a team,” Hamilton said. “Each of us can be proud of ourselves. We can also be proud of being a fantastic class at a fantastic school.”

In their remarks, Burris and school board President Liz Dion reminded the students of their accomplishments — and of how much they will be missed. “I may be biased, but I believe you are truly an extraordinary class,” Dion said. “No matter where your journey takes you, you will always belong with us.”

“Do you think I admire your class? You bet I do,” said Burris. “Thank you. You have been a joy.”

Presenting the South Side High School Class of 2013:

Stephanie Adelkopf

Alison Agoglia

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