Kennedy Cougars Celebrate Commencement

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At the June 24 commencement ceremony held at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, the Class of 2018 was recognized for the paw prints left on the Kennedy High School community.

Gerard Owenburg, incoming principal and current assistant principal, referenced stories of accomplishment, achievement and a shared sense of pride between classmates.

“What stands out about the Class of 2018 is relationships,” he said. “You care for each other, support each other and, most importantly, it’s all genuine.” 

Salutatorian Dylan Judd told his fellow classmates that education is something you can’t put a price tag on and encouraged them to spark their quest for education with a passion.

“Schools, especially Kennedy, provide the materials to light this flame,” he said. “We can engineer the spark with the various tools at our disposal, allowing us to illuminate who and what we are meant to be.”

Valedictorian David Kantor thanked his fellow students for being powerful and engaging, but also encouraged them to find happiness in the every day.

“You can choose to let your future be clouded by the unknown or you can allow it to be brightened by the hope of what can be,” he added. 

All speakers also reflected on the trailblazing impact recently retired Principal Lorraine Poppe left on the Cougar community during the past 22 years to help the school provide “a decadeslong history of excellence,” said interim Principal David Seinfeld.

Lastly, Board President Dr. Nancy Kaplan, also the mother of a graduating student, referenced school pride and personal relationships, having watched this class “grow from babies to high school graduates.”

“I love our children and families,” she said. “I have been blessed to have a ringside seat to watch this graduating class. I have sat in the audience countless times and loved every minute of marveling at your talents as students.”