Celebrating John F. Kennedy High School's Class of ’24: A new chapter begins


Bellmore-Merrick’s John F. Kennedy High School’s Class of 2024 was celebrated on the school field amid a sea of fanfare, family and friends on June 9.

Principal Gerard Owenberg spoke with pride of the seniors, specifically about “their hard work and leadership.” Senior chorus members serenaded the crowd as well.

Valedictorian Gabriella Tejada and salutatorian Cole Wasserman addressed the crowd. Tejada spoke about how her success is conditional upon faith, ambition and integrity.

“For faith, I hope that each of you has faith in yourselves and in your ability to make a positive impact on others,” she emphasized. “Be ambitious and aim to surpass your high expectations. Develop a sense of intrinsic motivation and keep pushing forward through hard work. Finally, have integrity, by rooting yourself in your values and having a commitment to good character. The future is unknown, however, by rooting ourselves in our values and positivity, we can navigate anything the world throws at us.”

Wasserman recanted about how he and peers “were always on the move” in high school. “We go from school, to sports, to work, to all of our other commitments,” he said. “All these experiences have molded us. Each small event throughout our time here has allowed us to grow into the people we are today. Yet I don’t think most of us, myself included, stop to appreciate all of these experiences. But we really should.”

Board of education trustee Dr. Nancy Kaplan also offered a positive sendoff message to the graduates.