A sun-filled sky greeted an enthusiastic crowd of family, friends and distinguished guests at the Sachem High School East commencement ceremony on June 27, honoring the tremendous achievements of the Class of 2019 and wishing them well as they begin the next chapter of their lives.
As a sea of seniors took to the field adorned in red caps and gowns, the 15th commencement ceremony at Sachem East began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by the graduates who would be entering a branch of the armed services.
High School East Principal Louis Antonetti offered the seniors a noble challenge to stand above the rest as they embark on their future journeys. “What is common in the world is people who see problems, complain and critique,” he said. “Be uncommon, be part of the group that finds solutions and stays positive, and always have the mentality of ‘I will find a way.’”
During a lighthearted address that followed, valedictorian Vincent Zhang concluded his speech with words of encouraging advice directed at his fellow graduates. “Persistent self-reflection is the only way we are able to judge our success and, ultimately, the legacy we leave for others,” he said. “The relationships, memories and experiences you make will define your impact on yourself, on others and on society, so do not be afraid of change. It is the only way we can reach our best self.”
Class President Joseph Traina then delivered a celebratory speech that turned back time and emphasized memories from the Class of 2019’s collective experiences that made their journey as Sachem students special.
As superintendent of schools, Dr. Kenneth Graham reflected on all that the graduates have achieved and he spoke with great promise of what they will accomplish in the future. “This class has been involved with so many actions to make positive changes in the community,” he said. “Our students have been involved in food drives, blood drives, St. Baldrick’s and even fundraisers for one of Sachem East’s own students battling cancer. The actions of each and every one of our graduates have made and will continue to make a big impact on the world around us.”
As the congratulatory remarks concluded and the diplomas were presented, family and friends cheered emphatically as the new graduates threw their caps toward a setting sun, exiting the field as alumni of Sachem High School East.