Exactly 421 students said goodbye to East Meadow High School on June 26 at the 2016 commencement ceremony.
Educators, family and friends of the class of 2016 sat under the sun on the bleachers beside the athletic field at the Carman Avenue school on Sunday morning, ready to watch the seniors receive their diplomas. The students heard from many speakers, who told them to work hard to achieve their goals in their lives after high school.
Valedictorian Zainab Nathani and Nirali Mandavawala, the salutatorian, offered advice to their peers. Both said before the ceremony that they looked forward to sharing memories with their classmates.
Victoria Bova, the president of the class of 2016, also addressed the crowd.
During his speech, Principal Richard Howard noted one unique attribute of the EMHS class of 2016: it contained nine sets of twins. Francisca and Vilma Fuentes; Mathew and George Kalambukadu; Danielle and Benjamin Levy; Amanda and Melissa Lo Cascio; Emily and Nathaniel Mendelson; Frank and Danielle Michelini; Molli and Mackenzie Salomon; Jonathan and Jacquelyn Tams; and Jake and Jesse Weiner all graduated together.
“From Feb. 14, 1998 through Nov. 30, 1998, eight sets of twins were born and they all somehow found their way to the East Meadow graduating class of 2016,” Howard said at the ceremony. “And as if eight wasn’t enough, on July 1, 2014, we welcomed the Fuentes sisters into our East Meadow family…I think here today at East Meadow, we have a record that will never occur again.”
In addition to asking the twins to stand for recognition, Howard wished the entire graduating class well. Superintendent Leon Campo, Board of Education members and more also offered words of encouragement to the seniors.