Class of 2019 Soars Into Next Chapter

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The Class of 2019 celebrated their commencement exercises on the evening of June 28 on the Junior High School football field.

With crowds gathered in the bleachers and friends and family cheering them on, the graduates marched around the track and into their respective seats to “Pomp and Circumstance” led by the high school band. The band then performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

Class of 2019 president Kerry Leary spoke to her classmates about reflecting on the past but looking ahead to the future. “Right now is the perfect time to take a moment and think of someone who helped you get to this point,” she said. “I want you to make sure you thank that person. We have received ample support and encouragement, and we were provided many opportunities to get us to where we are right now. We look forward with confidence knowing that the groundwork for future success has been laid here at West Babylon.” 

Salutatorian Delal Dilek addressed her classmates and spoke about their journey together. “We have all come a very long way since our freshman years,” she said. “We may not be as close-knit as the class above us or as well-rounded as the class below us, but we are still just as worthy of being here. I can’t speak on behalf of all of us when reminiscing about this lengthy high school journey because it was different for everyone. We learned differently. We walked the halls differently. We behaved differently. Despite these differences, we were all exposed to the values that make us West Babylon Eagles.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly offered her congratulations and well-wishes for the soon-to-be graduates. “Throughout this school year, I have seen, heard and witnessed so many of your accomplishments,” she said. “You are all phenomenal in your own unique, special way. West Babylon is a better place because of you. This class truly embodies what it means to be leaders. Clearly this graduating class’ character speaks for itself.”

Following the superintendent’s message, the concert choir, joined by members of the senior class, treated the audience to a senior medley of five special songs, concluding with “Like An Eagle.”

Valedictorian Nicole Nowakowski welcomed administrators, board of education members and guests to the ceremony and thanked her classmates and family for their support during the last four years. “Thank you for providing me with these amazing opportunities,” she said. “Do what makes you happy and what’s best for you and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way and you will find success. I hope you all set out to gain your own success and happiness in life.”

Before conferring the diplomas, Senior High School Principal Dr. Ellice Vassallo took to the podium to speak to the Class of 2019. “There has been an incredible list of successes in academics, music, athletics and community service,” she said. “No one thing alone stands above the rest, but all have made us shine brightly. You have made a difference one act at a time through kindness, perseverance, resilience and empathy.” 

As the students were called one by one to receive their diplomas, administrators and Board of Education members lined up to offer their congratulations. After all the names were called, the graduates tossed their caps high into the air in celebration. Friends and family were then invited onto the field to join in the celebration.