Eagle Pride Shines for the Class of 2017

Eagle Pride Shines for the Class of 2017 photo

Administrators, board of education members, faculty, family and friends gathered on the Junior High School field to celebrate the commencement exercises of the Class of 2017 on June 23.

Led on to the field by administrators, the soon-to-be graduates marched to “Pomp and Circumstance” courtesy of the band, which then led “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

Mary Chasen, president of the Class of 2017, welcomed guests to the ceremony. She spoke to her classmates about living in the present and enjoying the time right here and now. “Look at the person you are right now,” she said. “This ceremony will end and we will all be different. We all have pieces of this community and when we leave here, we will carry them off with us.”

Salutatorian Michael Lee talked about what lies ahead as they enter college or the workforce. “High school is full of challenges and obstacles that seem unconquerable,” he said. “I believe hard work and dedication are the keys to success. When new challenges arise, don’t fear them; face them.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly acknowledged different individual students in the Class of 2017 who left their mark on West Babylon Senior High School. “Throughout this school year, I have seen, heard and witnessed many of these accomplishments,” she said. “ As you begin your next chapter, you will find easy days and you will find challenging ones. Be resilient; don’t forget to take care of yourself. Find gratitude and appreciation in every day.”

Before valedictorian Christina Capobianco took to the podium, the chorus performed their senior medley – featuring “Breakaway,” “Fix You,” “I Hope You Dance,” “Home” and “Unwritten” – before the band ended with “Like an Eagle.”

Capobianco urged her fellow classmates to take risks. “This is the ending of the first chapter of your life,” she said. “Some of us have an idea of where we want to be five, 10, 20 years from now. Even if you have planned every detail, be open to change and keep an open mind or you might miss an unexpected opportunity for greatness. You will never know the journey that awaits you if you never leave the comfort and safety of your home. Keep true to who you are and where you come from. Remember what your values are and never forget your roots. It takes fortitude and self-awareness to succeed. Sometimes it’s going to be hard to go against the crowd and make the right decisions.”

Before conferring the diplomas to each member of the Class of 2017, Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo told them: “Your four years have gone quickly but you have made the most of them. You leave the high school a better place because you were here.”

After tossing their caps high in the air, friends and family joined the graduates on the field to celebrate.