Sewanhaka grads set high bar for followers

Sewanhaka grads set high bar for followers

Sewanhaka High School’s class of 2016 has left a positive imprint and raised the bar for classes to follow, said Cheryl Champ, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

“Another school year has passed by and once again I had the fortunate opportunity to observe these fine young men and women as they have progressed through Sewanhaka High School,” Champ said to the graduating class last Saturday at Hofstra University’s auditorium. “This graduating class has much to be proud of as these students have excelled in the classroom, in the arts and as they have completed in various athletic arenas.”

Champ also said to the graduates that it’s important to continue “to maintain a positive attitude” as they face the many challenges ahead. 

“Know though that things worth doing seldom come easy. There will be times when you’ll want to turn around and pack it up, call it quits,” she said. “Those times tell you that you are pushing yourselves and that you are not afraid to learn by trying. Persist because with an idea, determination and the right tools you can do great things.”    

Salutatorian Sidney Saint-Hilaire, who will attend Yale University in the fall to pursue a career in medicine, told his fellow graduates that there was no way he could describe his time at Sewanhaka “in literal sentences alone.”

“There are too many memories, too many conflicting emotions and too many smiling faces before me right now that plain speech wouldn’t do them justice,” Saint-Hilaire said. “I’m still trying to process the fact that we are going to be waking up tomorrow not to get to the corner of Tulip and Covert.” 

Students were also addressed by the senior class president, Christopher Melton, and the valedictorian, Merlyn John, who congratulated her fellow graduates, whom she described as family.

“No matter what challenges you face, and you will face challenges, I hope you meet them head-on with the strength, determination and perseverance you learned at Sewanhaka,” she said.

Principal Debra Lidowsky, who is retiring this year, wished the graduates success in the future. She also presented the Harold W. Wright Memorial Award to Maryyam Mian and the Anthony Dwyer Memorial Award to Elijah Tracey.

The ceremony, which was highlighted by musical performances from the senior high chorus and band, continued with the conferral of diplomas and concluded with caps being thrown into the air.

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