Friends and family of Sewanhaka High School’s Class of 2022 gathered at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex at Hofstra University Sunday for the class’s graduation ceremony.
Sewanhaka High School’s senior class presidents, Tatiana Eugene, who will be attending Pace University in the fall, and Tristan Balkaran, who will be attending Macaulay Honors College at Baruch, read their speech together
“These past few years were definitely a struggle for most,” said Eugene.
“From transitioning to in-person learning, to navigating our college and our general plans for the future, there was immense pressure on all the students to say the very least,” added Balkaran.
Eugene and Balkaran gave a shout-out to Principal Nichole Allen, who was appointed as the new principal back in March 2021. The duo then kicked off the ceremony by taking a selfie of themselves and the entire class and audience.
Salutatorian Kira Sethi called on the class to shout “thank you” in her speech to recognize those who have supported them throughout the years.
“Not only do we have to thank our supporters, but we should also thank ourselves,” said Sethi. “We’ve all struggled through classes and worked hard to overcome the challenges our teachers and life have thrown at us. The Class of 2022 has created a united Sewanhaka, and we have inspired the younger classmen to become hardworking individuals.
Valedictorian Farhaan Khan delivered humble remarks in his speech, passionately emphasizing the class’s accomplishments.
“There’s a bit of bitterness that I feel when it comes to standing up here and giving this speech,” said Khan. While I did have the best grades, I don’t think it necessarily makes me the smartest person, nor better than any of you standing here in front of me. You, Class of 2022, are all absolutely wonderful people, and you guys have done so much and can do so much.
“We have three young men and women in this crowd who made it to Cornell University. Eight young men in our class played on the basketball team, who went undefeated in their conference this year. Six young women in our class played on the softball team this year, who in the first time in years made it to the top of their conference.”
Khan also highlighted a classmate who co-founded a bubble tea shop last year and others in the class who worked alongside him to maintain the business, while another young man composed a soundtrack of indie video games.
The principal was brought to tears when delivering her closing remarks.
“Every class is special in their own way, but this one hits a little bit different,” said Allen, choking up. “Those of us blessed enough to be around you, marvel at the wonderful young adults you have become. Parents, I must thank you for the privilege to be with your children as they came into our building, young and full of promise. Now we watch you leave a little older, a lot wiser, and braver.”
Sewanhaka High School’s band, choir, and orchestra groups performed throughout the ceremony. The graduation was the new orchestra director Tommy Wu’s first time conducting a performance at a Sewanhaka graduation.