West Hempstead Holds 64th Annual Commencement

West Hempstead Holds 64th Annual Commencement photo

It was a time for sharing memories, congratulatory remarks and inspirational words as West Hempstead High School’s Class of 2018 bid farewell to their alma mater at the 64th annual commencement exercises on June 24.

Held at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of LIU Post, the annual exercises were led by Assistant Principal Adam Hopkins, who served as master of ceremonies. In traditional form, the seniors paraded down the aisles to “Pomp and Circumstance” through a sea of family, friends and guests before taking their place on the stage. 

Several students took the podium to address their peers with encouragement and sage advice. Senior Class President Sydney Hoffman reflected on how the class came together through the character of each individual to make a difference in the school and community. She implored her classmates to remember the education they had received and the friendships they had made at West Hempstead at times of uncertainty and fear in the future.

Salutatorian Lee Boodoo and valedictorian Shadman Syed used their time at the microphone to express their gratitude toward their support systems, which included teachers, administrators, parents, families and fellow classmates. They also urged their peers to stay in touch and to keep making a difference in the world.

“Change is possible,” said Syed. “The end result is based on your mindset and the work you put in. Together, we can make a huge impact on the world.”

Superintendent of Schools Patricia Sullivan-Kriss, who turned the podium to address the graduates directly, prevailed on the theme of how the class can continue to make an impact.

“As you go on to your next stage in life, it is relevant and meaningful to know that you too can have an impact on the people around you and the world you live in,” she said. “Your voices matter, individually and collectively, so use them wisely.”

Following addresses from Assistant Principals Hopkins and Michelle Maron, the chamber choir provided musical entertainment under the direction of Nicole Blier. Along with the school’s alma mater, the group performed the Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There for You,” made famous as the theme song to the TV show “Friends.”

The crowning moment came as Principal Dr. Robert Hanna presented the Class of 2018 and the diplomas were awarded, with Sullivan-Kriss officially introducing the newest alumni of West Hempstead High School. For the more than 200 graduates, the traditional cap toss that followed marked the end of a high school journey and the beginning of a new adventure.