More than 300 graduating seniors from Kennedy High School received their diplomas during the school’s 48th annual commencement ceremony on June 28 at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury.
During the spirited ceremony, graduating members of the high school chorus entertained family, friends and faculty members with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “A Little Pretty Bonnie Lass.” The audience also heard from graduating senior vocal performer Mara Friedman, who delivered a stunning rendition of “God Bless America.” In addition, the class was treated to a visit from Sen. Chuck Schumer, who delivered an amusing and inspiring speech about life choices.
In the salutatory address, Nicholas Field compared the graduates’ journey to the way directions on a roadmap don’t always dictate the outcome. He also recalled the morning announcements from his middle school years, when he often heard the principal say, “Make it a great day or not…the choice is yours.”
“In college, we’ll get pushed toward a major, but the rest is up to us,” Field said. “We get to make our own decisions. Make it a great life or not…the choice is yours.”
Valedictorian Beatrice Brown echoed those sentiments in her address, reflecting on the class’s years of effort and how their education at Kennedy prepared them for the future.
“Today we are here as a testament to all our hard work,” she said. “Our journey is just beginning, but we must keep in mind that tomorrow is not determined by destiny or fate. During the next leg of our journey, we will have the resources to improve the world.”
The graduating class also heard from Class President Anna Lawrence, who wished her fellow classmates well in the future. Principal Lorraine Poppe spoke fondly of the Class of 2015.
“As I look out, I cannot help but recall the remarkable things you’ve accomplished,” Ms. Poppe said. “As a class, you will be hard to top.”
“Your story is yet to be written, and you are just at the beginning,” said Board of Education trustee Dr. Nancy Kaplan. “Involve yourself with new things. Get to know your faculty and allow them the pleasure of getting to know you.”
The ceremony culminated with each student approaching the stage to receive his or her diploma, followed by the traditional cap toss.