As she stood in front of her peers, Lynbrook High School Valedictorian Ashley Roth said that even though they may be going on separate journeys, the class of 2021 will always share the same roots back to LHS.
“I’m confident that one day we will meet again and we will laugh and smile about these days,” she said assuredly. “I hope when that time comes, you can say you have truly lived. This has been one of my hardest goodbyes, but this is not the end. The memories we have made here in Lynbrook will live forever with each of us as we take on the world. We’re all a piece of Lynbrook, now and forever.”
Students, faculty, administrators, members of the Board of Education and families gathered at the Marion Street Elementary School football field in Lynbrook on June 25 to celebrate the class of 2021, which overcame many obstacles due to the coronavirus pandemic. Principal Joseph Rainis urged students to use the challenges of this past year as proof that the students can overcome anything when future obstacles present themselves.
“This year provided you with an advantage,” Rainis said. “Be ready to seize the moment when opportunity presents itself and as you now know, challenge and opportunity arrive simultaneously. Each of you posses the ability to rise to the challenges that are ahead. It is time to seize the opportunities that rise for each of you.”
The evening started with the playing of “Pomp and Circumstance,” followed by the national anthem, and included a performance by the Concert Band, under the direction of Brian White. Rainis presented the class of 2021, which was accepted by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Melissa Burak. When she addressed the graduates, Burak spoke about the similarities between life and baseball. She brought up Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax, who faced many obstacles on his road to success and superstardom, and noted that the theme of the 2020-21 school year was to be resilient and ready. While batters hope for an easy pitch to hit in baseball, she said, they don’t always get one, and things won’t always be easy for the class of 2021.
“In the past year and a half, perhaps Covid-19 was the most powerful curveball you might have encountered in your life up until this point,” Burak said. “For many, I’m sure it was. And maybe not for others. Life is like a baseball game. There will be wins and there will be losses. There will be outstanding home runs and unfortunate strikeouts. I wish I could tell you what kind of pitches you may get. While I can’t do that, I can suggest that you always weigh the pros and cons of every situation. Evaluate every pitch that is thrown your way.”
In her speech, Salutatorian Kathryn Postiglione said she was proud of the many memories she made at LHS, and called her peers a group of “charismatic, kind and intelligent” students who shared many great moments together and will continue to cheer one another on from afar.
“Remember our mascot is the Owls for a reason,” she said. “It is now time for each of us to soar into our futures.”