June 25 was a day of celebration for the West Hempstead Class of 2017 when 13 years of hard work culminated in a graduation ceremony at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.
The seniors paraded down the aisle to “Pomp and Circumstance,” performed by the West Hempstead High School orchestra during the event, for which Assistant Principal Adam Hopkins served as master of ceremonies. Senior Class Co-Presidents Sofia Gutierrez, Natalia Roberts and Tina Tudisco delivered the farewell address, reminiscing about the accomplishments, memories and obstacles the graduates had faced over the past four years. Tudisco, also the class’s salutatorian, said she would cherish the friendships that had developed along the way.
“We have achieved great things together such as receiving scholarships at competitions, putting on amazing theatrical productions, surviving the rigors of Advanced Placement courses and working through the college process,” she said. “I’m sure everyone can agree that they would not have been able to get to this moment without the help of their friends.”
Valedictorian Nathaniel Vaduthala urged his fellow classmates to embrace their individuality and reminded them that they can all make a difference in the world moving forward.
“The Class of 2017 is diverse and talented, each in his or her own way, so let’s not waste time trying to live someone else’s life,” he said.
Musical entertainment was also provided by the chamber choir, which performed the high school’s alma mater and the Beatles’ “Blackbird.” Superintendent of Schools Patricia Sullivan-Kriss and Principal Alvaro Escobar shared advice and encouragement before the students received their diplomas.
“Along your journey, may you reflect kindly upon your years in West Hempstead,” Sullivan-Kriss said. “We send you forth with great pride and lots of love, eager to learn of your future successes in life.”
“Your knowledge has grown with your years, building on itself as your curious minds expanded,” Escobar said. “You faced challenges, forged friendships, overcame obstacles, conquered doubts, surprised yourself and, most of all, learned, prospered and succeeded.”