Deer Park High School graduates were encouraged to draw upon the lessons learned and the friendships made as a source of inspiration for the future at the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2022 on June 23.
In their crowning moment as Falcons, the 303 graduates walked onto the field in the maroon caps and gowns to cheers and applause from their proud families. After remarks from senior class advisers Sara DiCandia and Marissa Caruso, who reminded them to never forget where they came from, senior members of the chorus sang the Alma Mater.
Senior class President Yoki Lin recalled how much they have achieved since their first day of high school on Sept. 5, 2018. There were also some unexpected moments. “We’ve come across every challenge that life can throw at us and these hardships have only made us stronger,” she said.
Salutatorian Saima Hoque centered her speech around the quote, “Do I dare disturb the universe?” She encouraged her fellow graduates to indeed disturb the universe in their pursuit of their goals and dreams.
Valedictorian Nicholas Stamatakis spoke about the “mini role models” throughout his time in high school – teachers and friends who have imparted some kind of knowledge on him. He told everyone, as they move on from high school, to find people who have traits they want to emulate.
For the seniors, the path to graduation felt like a long journey but for their parents, the time flew by, noted Superintendent James Cummings. They’re both right, he said. To give a little perspective, he noted some changes that have taken place in the lifetime of the graduates. They were born around the time Michael Jordan retired from basketball and people could still rent movies from Blockbuster. The iPhone came out when they were 4 and popular social media site TikTok debuted when they were in middle school.
Mr. Cummings said that that graduating class features students who have been educated in Deer Park their entire lives, as well as those who have moved here later on from other towns, states and countries.
“For one brief moment in time, all of your journeys have taken you to the same place,” he said, encouraging them to continue their personal journeys by following their own passions and interests.
Principal Charles Cobb recognized five students who will be joining different branches of the military after graduation. He praised the entire class for the style, grace and unrelenting passion they have shown in enduring many challenges over the past few years.