A sun-filled sky greeted an enthusiastic crowd of family, friends and distinguished guests at the Sachem High School East commencement ceremony on June 24, honoring the tremendous achievements of the Class of 2021. Those assembled wished them well as they began the next chapter of their lives.
As a sea of smiling seniors took to the field adorned in red caps and gowns, the commencement ceremony at Sachem East began with the recognition of the graduates who would be entering a branch of the armed services. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and “The Star-Spangled Banner” was then performed by the Sachem High School East Symphonic Choir.
High School East Principal Louis Antonetti offered the seniors heartfelt advice to carry into all areas of their lives. “Our time on this planet is limited, but our time here always reveals the truth about ourselves and others,” he said. “We get one life, we get one body to keep healthy, one mind to keep at peace. They say all you need to achieve happiness is a fit body, a sound mind and a house full of love, and all three things take work to achieve.”
During a lighthearted address that followed, valedictorian Mackenzie Szlosek reflected on an inspirational poster in her father’s office on which a river navigated a rock that blocked its path. She shared words of encouragement based on this image with her fellow graduates.
“I can promise you that not much in life will present a greater challenge than a global pandemic did,” she said. “We will succeed and achieve as a result of our built-up persistence and tenacity, stay with the current and carry on no matter how large or jagged the rocks may seem, because in the end, it is the river that emerges victorious.”
Class president and salutatorian Jayden Reilly then delivered a speech that highlighted the importance of time and how imperative it is to make the most out of each moment. “I believe we have been given a new perspective on how we should use, value and cherish our time,” he said. “Time is the one resource that money can’t buy. It is the one resource that you are currently wealthier than Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates in, and regretfully, it is the one resource we always take for granted.”
As the congratulatory remarks concluded and the diplomas were presented, family and friends cheered emphatically as the new graduates threw their caps to the sky, exiting the field as alumni of Sachem High School East.