On the evening of June 24, the Class of 2016 walked the middle school track one last time as Lindenhurst High School students. The band performed “Pomp and Circumstance” and the soon-to-be graduates took to their seats in preparation of becoming the newest Lindenhurst High School alumni.
The Marine Corps – JROTC Color Guard provided the presentation of colors and Class Vice President Gabrielle Barone led the salute to the flag and made welcoming remarks. The senior members of the high school chorus sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” for their classmates one last time.
Class of 2016 valedictorian Ihor Balaban addressed his audience with gratitude taking the time to thank the graduating class, in addition to, the families and educators who helped them along the way. He advised his classmates to explore the world beyond Lindenhurst.
His statements were preceded by the address of classmate Emma Gillam, who with senior Ryan Frank, was named class co-salutatorian.
Also addressing the class, were Superintendent of Schools Daniel E. Giordano, High School Principal Dr. Christopher Gitz and Board of Education Trustee Valerie McKenna, whose son William sat among the audience of graduates.
Mr. Giordano took the opportunity to bring the students full circle and read them a story to end their Lindenhurst journey, as their kindergarten teachers had done to begin it. Referencing the book “Giraffes Can’t Dance,” he urged the graduates to be kind, explore their passions and step outside of their comfort zones.
Shortly after the remarks, the soon-to-be graduates approached the podium one by one and received their diplomas from the members of the Board of Education. Upon returning to their seats and receiving a final congratulatory standing ovation from the bleachers, they were granted the opportunity to finalize their experience as Lindenhurst students and ceremoniously toss their graduation caps into the air.
Before they headed off the field, New York State Sen. Charles Schumer surprised students and took to the podium with an encouraging message to "Go for it!"