Manhasset High School graduates 101st class

Manhasset High School graduates 101st class
255 alumnus of Manhasset High School tossed their caps into the air last Friday afternoon and graduated as members of the 101st class in the district's history. (Photo by Samuele Petruccelli)

Teachers, parents and friends gathered last Friday afternoon to celebrate the 255 students who are members of the 101st graduating class at Manhasset High School.

After starting their school year learning from home, the graduates participated in a commencement in person on the campus’ front lawn after the commencement bell had rung three times: once to honor graduates in the past, another for the present, and a third for the future.

Also honored was Diane Bollen, late French teacher at Manhasset High School. Bollen died of cancer in early April and was a faculty adviser for the French Honor Society. A moment of silence was held in her memory.

Class President Eunice Choi was the first to offer final remarks to her fellow graduates. She highlighted differences between television portrayals of high school versus the Manhasset experience.

“At the end of the day, it’s not the big moments you’ll remember,” Choi said. “It’s the little instances. The in-between filler episodes that we take for granted in the heat of the moment. That we’ll carry for the next four years, the four years after, and eventually to the 9-to-5 office jobs at a Fortune 500 company.”

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Deputy Superintendent Rosemary Johnson addressed the graduates, reminding them of their parents’ love and what habits to keep after high school.

“They will never be done protecting you from harm,” Johnson said about the students’ mothers and fathers. “Remember to thank them, remember to hug them, and please, remember to call them.”

After referencing John Wesley, Johnson gave advice to the soon to be alumni, telling them to practice self-care and self-compassion.

“Strive to be the best versions of yourselves, stay focused on your happiness, and leave the world a better place than you found it,” Johnson said.

Noémie S Gomes-Jourdan, the salutatorian, reminded her fellow graduates of their accomplishments, and their perseverance to finish the 12th grade during a pandemic with strength.

“As the last school year finished out remotely, and began in a hybrid model this year, we seniors remained strong,” she said. “We had to have confidence that the work of scientists and doctors would allow us to celebrate our senior year at some later time.”

Gomes-Jourdan pointed to the small but significant contributions of her class to those greatly impacted by the pandemic, including organized food drives and charitable fundraising efforts.

Concluding her address, the salutatorian referred to a quote from the late prime minister of  Britain as support for the importance of perseverance.

“As Winston Churchill once said, success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts,” Gomes-Jourdan said. “Class of 2021, because I know that we do have the courage to continue, we will be the ones to change the world.”

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