Calhoun Marks 59th Commencement Ceremony

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The June 24 commencement ceremony for Calhoun High School’s Class of 2018, which was held at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, celebrated a theme of kindness and empathy, as well as perseverance and exploration as students advance into this next chapter in their lives.

“You have been heroes,” Principal Nicole Hollings. “You are a hero because you stopped your day to be a friend who needed help or to someone who is just different than you. Because you stood up to be a champion for the rights of others. Because you defend the rights of all. You chose kindness even when someone has been cruel to you.”
Board member and fellow Calhoun alumna Wendy Gargiulo reflected on advice she would bestow upon her younger self, as well as the graduates.

“Live your own life,” she stated. “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Have the courage to follow your heart and own intuition. Discovery takes time and that is time well spent.”

Senior Class advisor Erika Feldman pressed the importance of consistently setting goals throughout your life.
“We all have different goals, but don’t second guess your own goals and your ability to succeed as you achieve those goals,” she advised.

Salutatorian Amelia Seabold expressed having control over one’s own reactions and not negatively impacting others with your actions.

“We have spent our whole lives being impacted by other people,” she said. “We have experienced benevolence and animosity. And all of these people we have come in contact with have helped shaped who we are today. Any person can alter someone’s life. We must intentionally seek to have an impact on people and be in control of what the outcome is.”

Valedictorian Joy Ma told fellow classmates to remember their roots as they set off on new adventures, but to also find the “joy” in their lives.

“We have always been influencing each other for better or worse,” she said. “These people, this school, this town. This is our childhood. This is Bellmore-Merrick. We are Bellmore-Merrick. And no matter how far the journey in life pulls us, nothing will be able to take that away from us.”