East Meadow graduate Aaron Roberts with mother Gina and father Neil.
Met by cheers and applause from family and friends, the members of East Meadow High School’s class of 2013 filed onto the John Barbour Memorial Field, waving excitedly as they found their seats. After a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance and a student-led rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the ceremony began.
Sen. Charles Schumer addressed the students first, touting East Meadow High School as “not only one of the finest high schools on Long Island, but … one of the finest ones in New York state.”
Schumer told graduates to aim high to accomplish their dreams, and that with dedication and hard work, they would find out what they are truly made of. “Go for it,” Schumer urged. “If you make the right choice, your life will be enriched forever.”
Joseph Parisi, president of the Board of Education, told the seniors that the time they spent in East Meadow schools had prepared them well for the rest of their lives. “I wish you to be kind, be happy, be yourself and believe in yourself,” Parisi said.
Superintendent Louis DeAngelo spoke next, and quoted Mother Teresa. “Give the world the best that you have,” he told the graduates. “We know that you will make us proud.”
“This is a truly momentous occasion. We made it,” salutatorian and class president Anson Wang told his classmates. “True success will be measured by our responses to uncertainty. We must not be afraid to take risks and leap into the unknown. We march forth from today with accomplishments and with love.”
Valedictorian Neil Khosla recounted the peak moments of the 2012-13 school year. “We are here celebrating all the accomplishments that we have achieved as East Meadow Jets,” he said, referencing the girls’ softball team’s first-ever Long Island championship earlier this month, the band’s 11th first-place finish in the New York City Columbus Day Parade last October and the announcement of the school’s second Intel science research semifinalist, Wang, in January.