Malverne hosts H.S. graduation


The Malverne High School commencement ceremony took place on the school’s back field last Friday, as friends and family members gathered in the stands to support those who saw the end of their local school education and celebrated their achievements over the past four years.

After the Malverne High School band performed “Pomp and Circumstance,” Superintendent Dr. James H. Hunderfund highlighted the many achievements of the graduating class, which had the highest overall grade point average in the history of the school, with more than half of the class earning honor roll distinction.

In addition, 95 percent of the class received Regents diplomas and more than 60 percent of the senior athletes were awarded scholarships.

Hunderfund concluded his speech by introducing the class salutatorian, Sheniqua Young, whom he described as “soft-spoken and determined.”

Young, who will attend Cornell University in the fall, where she plans to study pediatric medicine, reminded her classmates that “it is our experiences at Malverne that have molded us into the people we are today.” And she quoted Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Senior class President Deja Mitchell expressed her gratitude to her fellow graduates, and reminisced about the times she spent with them at Sports Night and other events that, she said, united them.

Mitchell urged her classmates to remember, “The power is in our hands to be who we want to be” — and then thanked the assembled parents and teachers, and told her classmates to “ask for some money” as a graduation gift.

The next speaker was Valedictorian Jessica Mele, who earned 12 more credits than required for graduation. Mele was involved in many clubs and organizations, including the National Honor Society as well as the volleyball, lacrosse and softball teams. She also took part in numerous science competitions.

Mele thanked her teachers, guidance counselor and coaches for giving her the everything she needed in life to be successful. She asked classmates to find out what they were meant to do with their lives, and thrive at whatever that might be.

Principal James Brown presented the class of 2013, and Board of Education President Marguerite O’Connor presented the graduates with their diplomas.