Community was the theme of student emcee/senior class president Madison Uzwy’s speech when she led Wellington C. Mepham High School’s 79th commencement on June 25 at the NYCM Theatre at Westbury.
“The people around you made the place actually feel like home. These people at Mepham have bonded and connected with you.”
This was the last commencement Michael Harrington will oversee as principal, as he will assume the role of assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in the coming school year.
“This class has proved that it is possible to achieve extraordinary things when there is a shared sense of purpose and drive,” he said. “The ways in which your class brought the community together through service projects…and how the spirit and pride that was felt at events [like that] is unlike any other school. Your collective efforts as a class to improve the world around you will always be the legacy of the Class of 2017.”
Salutatorian Kristina Schwab said that while she couldn’t yet determine if high school were the best years of her life, she said that “without a doubt it was four of the most significant years.”
“Think back to your freshman self and I think of the person standing here today. In the time between we have matured and grew up. We gained a great sense of independence.”
Valedictorian Rachel Jozwik spoke about how to navigate through this next chapter of life.
“The next few years – the rest of our lives will be all about experiences. We will make a million mistakes but learn a million new things. We will get lost a few times but find some really cool places. After all, the less we know, the more there is to learn.”
Board member Nina Lanci shared the “real secrets of success” with Mepham’s graduates. These life lessons were similar to basics taught in kindergarten including venturing outside to play, smiling at people and remember to be humble and kind.
“Most importantly use the buddy system,” she added. “The world is a lot less scary when you know there is someone you can trust.”