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Resilient students graduate Lawrence High School


It was not your traditional high school graduation as this is not the customary graduation season. However, on Monday, the regularly scheduled day for Lawrence High School’s commencement, there were four mini-graduation ceremonies during the day at the high school and a virtual video ceremony at night because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Asher Mansdorf, vice president of the school district’s Board of Education attended the daytime commencements. “On behalf of the board, I very much want to thank Dr. [Ann] Pedersen for bringing us to where we are today and the administrators, it was truly lovely,” he said, about the daytime ceremonies at the same night’s board meeting. “I want to that [Town of Hempstead Councilman] Bruce Blakeman for coming and wish the graduates the best in their future endeavors.”

In the virtual video the camera took the viewer into Lawrence High as “Pomp and Circumstance” played and into the auditorium where the nearly 75-minute virtual ceremony was recorded. There was the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem.

Board President Murray Forman highlighted that the class of 2020 has true grit because of the circumstances they overcame to graduate and that will help them through life in the video. At the Monday board meeting Forman said: “Congratulations to our graduates.”

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who represents the Five Towns, told the students in the video that enduring the coronavirus pandemic will make them, “more resilient, give them more depth of perspective, make them work hard and help them go further.”

Lawrence High School graduate State Assemblywoman Melissa Miller, an Atlantic Beach resident, noted her circuitous route to where she is in life and told they graduates in the virtual ceremony that they are “not in control of everything that happens but you are in control of how you respond and behave.”

Principal Dr. Jennifer Lagnado-Papp noted that this is the generation that is more engaged because of their use of electronic devices that some might call a distraction, but in their hands they tools for positive change.

Pedersen, the district’s superintendent, who said she knows many of the students from the Number Four School, echoed the resiliency theme and said at the board meeting that the daytime ceremonies were “quite touching.” The senior choir sang in unison separately.

Lagnado-Papp certified and declared the students graduates of Lawrence High School which ended the virtual commencement accompanied by a video montage