The Manhasset High School Class of 2016 had its graduation ceremonies under clear blue skies at the steps of the Manhasset Secondary School on June 24.
The 279 graduates paraded past the school bell and congregated on the bleachers for their commencement ceremony, which began promptly at 5:30 p.m. More than 2,000 people gathered consisting of family, friends, teachers, administrators, special guests and students who came to witness the special ceremony.
School Principal Dr. Dean Schlanger began the ceremonies by welcoming the audience as he introduced the Senior Class President Kevin Gleason, who led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by “The Star Spangled Banner,” performed by the symphony orchestra.
“Thomas Edison once said, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ In reflecting on his words, you might ask—how can success come from failure? In my short life of 18 years, I have learned that Thomas Edison was right. Ironically, success is most often only achieved through failure,” began Gleason. Success from mistakes or failures was a common thread in many of the speeches given that evening. Gleason told his fellow classmates that “Life is like learning to ride a bike; you will likely fall off many times, but, the only way to reach success is to get up, dust yourself off, and keep going,” and to “find your passion and do what you love, even if it’s not popular.”
Both the salutatorian and valedictorian spoke; their speeches were heartfelt and humorous and will be published in next week’s edition of the Manhasset Press. “Seasons of Love” was beautifully sung by six very talented senior class vocalists.
Sophia Urban, the class treasurer, presented the Class of 2016 gift of two wood benches for the Manhasset Schools’ Art Gallery to Board of Education President Regina Rule and Craig Anderson, board member.
Class advisor Jacqueline Wiley spoke of the future and how graduates should do something they love and that the work associated with the dream is a labor of love.
Micheal Ottavio crooned “Slow Down” which melded into a moving speech given by Dr. Schlanger.
One by one, the 279 graduates were called to receive their diplomas, thus closing this chapter of their life and beginning anew, to “explore new unknown territory” as recommended by the valedictorian Jason Fiacco.
The turning of the tassel and the recitation of the school’s alma mater marked the conclusion of this epic event, culminating in the ceremonial tossing of the mortar.