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Locust Valley High School bids farewell to class of 2019

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Members of the Locust Valley High School class of 2019 officially became alumni on June 29, as they were celebrated for their accomplishments on the stage of the high school auditorium. As 157 seniors sat in their graduation gowns, the tassels on their caps hanging on the right side, they listened as distinguished speakers marked the milestone.

Many of the messages shared at the podium focused on happiness, reminding the graduates what really matters in life.

“I encourage you to consider your interests, set personal goals and to chart a pathway toward the areas in life that will make you happy,” said Principal Patrick DiClemente.

Board of Education President Brian T. Nolan continued on that theme, sharing some of the seniors’ yearbook quotes and adding his own tips for a fulfilling future. “I know you’re getting a lot of advice as you transition out of high school, and I think that one suggestion can make a difference in your life,” Nolan said. “Appreciate the little things. Make time for your family, your community and your friends.”

Valedictorian Alim Merchant encouraged his classmates to remember what matters to them most and to focus on those things, including both the activities and the people they love.

Salutatorian Joanna Yu advised the graduates to understand the necessity of the tasks they must do to reach their dreams, and Katherine Berritto, the class president, urged her peers to do something useful with their education and the opportunities it has made possible.

The final speaker, Acting Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carl Bonuso, praised the class of 2019. “We are here this afternoon to celebrate the greatest human achievement of all, a new generation of educated men and women,” he said.

DiClemente recognized four seniors who have chosen to serve the country through the attendance of a military academy or by entering a branch of the armed forces. Clark Brennan, Richard Charon, Howard T. Hogan IV and Matthew Passero received a standing ovation.

Finally, the moment the graduates were waiting for came as their names were called and they walked across the high school stage to receive their diplomas. As a group, they moved the tassels on their caps from right to left, threw those caps in the air in celebration and declared themselves Locust Valley High School alumni.

Courtesy Locust Valley School District