The World Is Waiting for Deer Park’s 2018 Grads

The World Is Waiting for Deer Park’s 2018 Grads

It was a grand farewell to Falcons leaving the nest as the high school’s Class of 2018 celebrated the school’s 55th commencement on June 22. In keeping with tradition, the Roisin Dubh Pipe Band led the graduating seniors into the stadium. Providing the remainder of the music were the school’s symphonic and ninth-grade bands, directed by Jerry Cannarozzo.

Following a welcoming speech from Senior Class President Alan Korsiak, salutatorian Megan Zhang, a gifted flutist, used the silent moments of musicianship as metaphor to reflect on the moment the seniors found themselves in. “Beyond the horizon, the world is waiting,” she told her classmates.

Noting that her fellow seniors may not have known her well because she was often buried in her books studying at home, valedictorian Saraf Faruk said, “It’s amazing to think that we have come all this way, through 12-plus years of school together, and are finally graduating. We made friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. It’s both frightening and exciting to think that from this moment on, our lives will have changed. Everything we have learned is preparation for our adult lives.”

Eschewing a traditional speech, Superintendent Eva Demyen instead uniquely chose to test the grads with a series of inspirational quotes on courage ranging from Winston Churchill to “Harry Potter” wizard Albus Dumbledore and Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” handing out gift cooler bags to those students who correctly identified the quotes’ sources.

Principal Charles Cobb paid heartfelt tribute to the late Donte McClurkin, whose family was on hand to receive his diploma, and reflected on the students’ many accomplishments throughout the year including academics, athletics, music and art, volunteerism and college acceptances.

“Be kind,” Cobb urged the new grads, before their tassels were turned, caps tossed and they had walked out as alumni. “Be kind to yourself, your friends, your families, to those you do not yet know, and to those who may be different than you. By treating each other with kindness, you will the opportunity every day to change the world.”