The Sachem High School East Class of 2020 celebrated the conclusion of their senior year with a series of separate graduation ceremonies over the course of July 23-24.
Held on the football field, the ceremonies followed strict guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance. This included requiring masks when social distancing could not be maintained and seating individual families a minimum of six feet apart.
The ceremonies opened with a prerecorded version of “Pomp and Circumstance” echoing across the field before Principal Lou Antonetti took the podium. He began by recognizing the students who will be serving in the armed forces, and then addressed the graduates with an encouraging message about embracing adversity as they move through life.
“Be thankful for the adversity we face,” he said. “If you do not face adversity in life, you will never know what your true character is and what you are made of. There are a lot of moments in life — some perfect, some imperfect — but appreciate all of them, because we only get one life.”
The class’s top 25 students were then recognized before the leading member of that group, valedictorian Christian Berberich, delivered an address to his fellow graduates.
“School has been challenging in more ways than I can count,” Berberich said. “We have gotten through everything by relying on the people that matter most to us…that is why, if I could leave on any note, it would be this: Value the relationships you make in your life, for it is the people in your life who make it truly worth living.”
Concluding the ceremony, students received their diplomas by entering the stage in an alternating fashion, maintaining six feet of distance at all times. After accepting their diplomas, they had the opportunity to commemorate the experience with a photo before leaving the stage. The students then ceremoniously turned their tassels and exited the field as the newest alumni of Sachem High School East.