The atmosphere was filled with much excitement as 360 graduates in the Levittown MacArthur High School Class of 2012 proceeded onto the floor of Hofstra University’s Mack Sports Complex to take the first step in the next chapter of their lives.
Under the direction of Joseph Romano, the school’s orchestra played “Pomp and Circumstance” to announce the beginning of MacArthur’s 51st annual commencement exercises. Class President Joseph Cataldo led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance while the senior choir members sang the National Anthem.
Principal Kathy Valentino welcomed family, administration and local dignitaries to this special occasion. She told the students that they will be remembered for how proud they made the staff feel with the number of awards they achieved and their touching expressions of kindness and concern.
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“Thank you for the mark you left on MacArthur High School,” she said.
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Councilman Gary Hudes and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer reflected on their past experiences and encouraged the students to reach for their dreams, remember their goals and work hard to overcome life’s speed bumps.
In her address to fellow graduates, valedictorian Melissa Slyper explained that everyone has the capacity to achieve his or her dreams.
“Half the battle is showing up,” she remarked. “Continue to wake up and be willing to attend school and work. Nothing is too hard or impossible.”
Salutatorian Lauren Saunders told her classmates that it doesn’t matter what others think about what you do.
“It only matters what we believe in,” Saunders said. “Don’t forget to live the life ahead of you and do what is important.”
In a cherished graduation tradition, the audience took time out from the celebratory speeches to watch a commemorative video presentation, which featured photographs and short clips of the seniors’ last year together. Before presenting the Class of 2012, Board of Education President Michael Pappas reminded the students that their GPS (grandparents, parents and siblings) system will provide the support to meet life’s challenges.
Each member of the class walked across the stage to receive their diploma and become alumni of the Levittown School District. The district extends its congratulations and best wishes for success and happiness to each member of the Class of 2012.