Celebrating Success at West Babylon’s Class of 2022 Graduation

Two graduates holding diplomas and smiling at the camera thumbnail223076

The sun was shining down on the West Babylon Senior High School Class of 2022 as processed onto the football field for their commencement exercises on June 24. The band, led by Dana Meadows, played “Pomp and Circumstance” as the students walked around the track and to their seats.

National Honor Society president Olivia Price led the Pledge of Allegiance and the band followed with the national anthem” and “God Bless America.” Class of 2022 president Michael Capriola spoke to his classmates about some of the unique challenges they all faced. “From years of virtual school and a breakup from the comfortable norms of seeing our friends and peers every day in classes, we have endured and come together as a group to make our high school experience surely memorable,” he said. “From a freshman year filled with new and exciting events, teachers and friends, to a senior year complete with all of us coming together to celebrate our success through field day, walkthrough and prom, we have all completed the first chapter of our lives in the most fulfilling way possible. I wish you all good luck wherever life may lead you. I hope you all savor every moment of the journey, and learn from your successes, as well as your failures.”

Salutatorian Sophia Kinash spoke about her family life from Ukraine and the life lessons it has taught her. “I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given here at the West Babylon School District,” she said. “I am grateful for all of our teachers, administrators and staff for guiding us. They have given us the knowledge to enter the real world.”

Board of Education President Lucy Campasano offered her congratulations to the Class of 2022 and encouraged them to seize all the opportunities presented to them moving forward. “Don’t forget the lessons learned along the way and don’t forget about those who were instrumental in getting you where you are today. These people have all had a positive impact on your present and future lives.”

West Babylon Superintendent of Schools Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly spoke about the characteristics of perseverance, dedication and resilience. “I’m honored to be here to celebrate this significant achievement that ends a chapter in your life but certainly starts an exciting new one. You being here didn’t just happen magically. This achievement is culmination of many years of hard work and dedication. This graduating class has made us all so proud. Your drive, your kindness, your passion, your energy, your character…. will be what makes the real difference in this world.”

Members of the graduating class joined the band and chorus one last time to perform, “Like an Eagle,” before valedictorian Camilo Brown-Pinilla addressed his classmates and spoke about the drive and ambition that his mother taught him. “As you step out past graduation, here will be challenges on the road ahead,” he said. “There may be times where you knock over a few bottles in your life. Sometimes those bottles may be like bowling pins and knock over even more bottles. But, if you retain one thing from that story of my mother, let it be this: Embrace the flame. Nurture it, kindle it, fan it, do whatever you must until that ember of ambition which lies within us all grows into flame. Do not, under any circumstances, let anyone douse this flame or coax you into believing it does not exist within you. You are all the masters of your own ambitions. Let this ambition guide you in your attempt to change this world for the better. Go out and leave your mark and don’t let anyone stand in your way.”

West Babylon Senior High School Principal Stephen O’Leary reflected about all the events during the course of the school year…what worked, what didn't, what was memorable, what we would like to forget. “As we think about all of the great things that occurred this school year, please always remember that your high school experience as a whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts - the friendships that you have formed and the relationships that you have created will, in many instances, last a lifetime,” he said. “Be proud of everything that you have done that has landed you here today. In order to be that positive force in the real world, please always be kind, especially to those who are most vulnerable, be willing to compromise even with those who you disagree with the most, don’t always feel the need to compare yourself to everyone.”

Students were called to the podium one by one to receive their diploma from Mr. O’Leary and Dr. Farrelly as members of the board of education lined up to offer their congratulations. After turning their tassels, the graduates tossed their caps high in the air. Audience members made their way down to the football field to join the students.

Date Added: 6/27/2022