The conditions were picture- perfect on Sunday, when 116 Oyster Bay High School seniors transitioned to graduates. Steeped in tradition, the ceremony began at noon as honorary flag bearers from the junior class led the procession of graduating seniors out of the high school.
The ceremony included many speeches of congratulations and encouragement. Sharon Lasher, the OBHS principal, spoke about the importance of personal relationships, while Superintendent Dr. Laura Seinfeld focused on empathy, self-control, integrity, the embrace of differences, grit and the ability to persevere — all the essential elements for success.
Valedictorian Jason Hom noted that the class of 2019 comprised college-bound athletes, eclectic musicians, creative artists, science researchers, innovative gamers and even a figure skater.
“We are also made up of students who recently came to this country and worked hard to learn English and get their diplomas,” Hom said. “Our community is more than my classmates and myself. It includes the teachers who taught us each day, our school counselors, who held our hands through the college application process, our parents and families, who supported us through school, administrators who helped us achieve our plans, the custodians who make the school beautiful and safe, and the Board of Education that puts the needs of students first.”
After a musical performance by the graduating chamber singers, school board President John McEvoy advised students to enjoy their success “and to continue to pursue achieving your goals.”
Lasher presented the Beekman Medal — the highest honor bestowed on an Oyster Bay High School graduating senior — to Maggie Ford. She also acknowledged Thomas Coor for being a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program, and Hom and Rachel Sabatello for being Commended National Merit Scholars. Later, National Honor Society President Sarah Conway, on behalf of the society’s seniors, recognized social studies teacher Lauren Harnick as an extraordinary educator and as a National Honor Society Honorary Inductee.
Then, Lasher called up the students one by one, and they were given their diplomas by McEvoy. The moment everyone was more than likely waiting for came afterward, when Lasher congratulated the new graduates, prompting them to toss their mortarboards skyward amid cheers and applause from the audience. Congratulations and best of luck to the class of 2019!