Roslyn High School gives triumphant goodbye to Class of 2022

Roslyn High School gives triumphant goodbye to Class of 2022
The graduating class of Roslyn High School was recognized for their courage during COVID-19. (Photo by Steven Keehner)

Roslyn High School’s Class of 2022 Commencement celebrated students’ strength during COVID-19.

The jubilant crowd in the Tilles Center at Long Island University didn’t hold back their excitement. Speeches made during the event served as a toast to the students.

“[The] class of 2022 proves that none of us would be successful without other humans by our side,” said principal Scott Andrews. “We all need human interaction, compassion, kindness and empathy for a happy and successful life.”

He commended his students for persevering through so much hardship. He gave them pointers and other words of wisdom for the future.

“If you live long enough, you will make mistakes. You learn from them and be a better person,” said Andrews. “It’s how you deal with adversity — not how it affects you. The main thing is to never quit.”

He noted that there will always be room for development, growth and challenges.

Other speakers reflected this sense of empathy. But, as Valedictorian Daniel Liu stressed, it’s also about being kind.

“For the average person who wants to help, it’s difficult to affect change on a large scale. But what we can impact is our home circle,” he said. “Therefore, despite kindness being such an overused topic for a speech, I want to remind you all to be proud of your kindness. Those people we interact with on a daily basis can be and have been impacted by our presence in their lives.”

Liu shared his experience of arriving in America from China at ‌four. With no knowledge of English, he said that the Roslyn community allowed for his success.

“When I say we did it, I truly mean we,” he said. “I could not be more grateful for everyone whose lives have touched mine these last 12 years.”

This fall, Liu will attend Princeton University and study computer science.

Other students reinforced Liu’s points. This included salutatorian Lindsay Fabricant and OCC President Jaideep Grewal.

“For some, the pandemic consisted of inflated GPAs and video games. For others, it provided immeasurable sorrow. But one thing remained constant,” he said. “Our class’s strong connection with one another.”

Grewal said that through virtual Netflix parties and game nights, the Class of 2022 stuck together.

The senior chorus and wind ensemble also gave performances. But the audience’s joy was louder and clearer than any song.

One of the pandemic’s greatest challenges was caregivers’ inability to protect their children. In her remarks, Allison Brown, the superintendent of schools, touched on this.

“As difficult as these past few years have been, these graduates are more resilient than they would have been under less challenging circumstances,” she said. “They learned, and they earned grit.”

Board of Education President Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy also honored the Class of 2020. She said that everyone has learned valuable lessons from the pandemic that they would always remember.

“Take these lessons with you into your future: always remember to appreciate what you already have as you work for what you want,” she said. “It is the key to happiness. I promise you that.”

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