Hundreds of Hicksville High School graduates made their way to the school’s athletic field on June 26 as “Pomp and Circumstance” echoed through the stadium. The commencement ceremony kicked off with Assistant Principal Patrick Harris reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which was immediately followed by Rohina Nodrat’s rendition of the National Anthem.
Principal Raymond Williams was first to address the Class of 2021, speaking of strength, resilience and perseverance shown by each of the graduates during an unprecedented school year. He also stressed the importance of gratitude.
“What a year this has been,” Williams said. “This year showed us that miracles can indeed happen. After all, we are here together in good health, celebrating progress and growth… You are all seated here and that means you are a survivor. So, as you march forward in life, pause and give thanks, be gratuitous for the small things… and you’ll find that things will change for you.”
Other speakers, who spoke of overcoming adversity, included honored guest Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore, Board of Education secretary Carla Hoene, Student Government president Steven Goubran, as well as Class of 2021 valedictorian Navpreet Singh and salutatorian Cailin Hoang. Both addressed their classmates directly, reminiscing about fond memories spent together before, during and after the pandemic. Echoing Williams’ sentiments, they said it’s these memories that each of the graduates should be thankful for.
“I am so relieved to see the smiles on all of your faces today as we celebrate this turning point in our lives,” Singh said. “I know our senior year wasn’t what we imagined it to be, but we made the most of what was given to us and we will use the lessons that we learned to make ourselves better in the years to come.”
Salutatorian Cailin Hoang added, “If you know me, you know my goal is to become strong. After all, in order to help others, you yourself have to be strong. So, take no reservations, put all your effort forth and cherish every opportunity to strengthen your mental landscape. And so, welcome not to the end but to the beginning of the next chapter of our lives.”
Before the graduates accepted their diplomas, Superintendent of Schools Marianne Litzman had a few last words of advice and encouragement to share with the Class of 2021.
“Your job is to continue learning and continue growing,” Litzman said. “Your job is to continue to be innovative. You are the class that emerges with more life lessons than any other and that means that you have more skills to do your job than graduates before you. You are more resilient, more resourceful and know the power of kindness like no others. Knowing this, your job is to bring more kindness into the world, more light and more strength. Your job is to change the world and make it a better place.”
Congratulations to the Hicksville High School Class of 2021 and best of luck in all of your future endeavors.
-Submitted by the Hicksville School District