A clear summer evening set the stage as 310 Bellport High School graduates processed through the fire department’s ladder and flag archway as the wind ensemble played “Pomp and Circumstance” during the school’s annual commencement exercises, held on Joe Cipp Field on June 27. After the graduates made their way to the bleachers, the Cadet Corps and Dance Club presented the colors and Senior Class President Kyle Climan led the salute to the flag.
During his opening comments, Kyle remarked that the Class of 2019’s roots in the community has influenced them and created a big family. “Each of you are special in your own regard, and I believe we can achieve anything,” he said. “Let us not forget our roots, because this right here is what made us.”
Principal Timothy Hogan welcomed parents and the community and asked the graduates if they are aware of their impact on the world. “What starts here changes the world,” he said. “Never discount the effect you have on a person.” Mr. Hogan also listed three attributes of true leaders, including knowing your content, being passionate about what you do and having a genuine interest.
As the valedictorian, salutatorian and essayist were introduced, Mr. Hogan presented each with a medal and plaque. Essayist Grace Armann asked the question of how we measure the value of one’s past, both individually and collectively. “Our sadness and struggles are not what specifically define us as they often seem to, but they can help us become the people we are today or will become in the future,” she said.
Salutatorian Aneeqa Majid reminded her classmates that the present is a gift and is sometimes taken for granted. “I wish someone had told me years ago that time doesn’t deliver happiness; that I didn’t need to seek a better tomorrow when all along I could have made my today the tomorrow I wanted,” she said.
Valedictorian Tyler Brock said graduation is a time when everyone can have a clean slate to redefine who they are now. “Whatever reputations, good or bad, we have earned over our lives so far will be gone, and with that comes the ability to make a new first impression that aligns more with who we want to be,” Tyler said.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani then certified that the Class of 2019 has met the credentials for graduation, and Board of Education President Cheryl A. Felice led the students in the traditional moving of their tassels to signify becoming graduates of Bellport High School. The graduates were then individually called to the podium to receive their diplomas from Mr. Hogan, Dr. Giani and Ms. Felice, as well as special persons in their lives.
The South Country Board of Education, administration and faculty extend best wishes of happiness and success to the Class of 2019.
Photos courtesy of the South Country Central School District