A sea of successful students – the graduating Class of 2018 – blanketed the football field at Sachem High School East as they prepared to receive their diplomas as part of the annual commencement ceremony celebrating the momentous milestone.
The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by the graduates who will be entering a branch of the armed services, and a warm welcome from Sachem High School East Principal Louis Antonetti, who reflected on the value of the challenging yet rewarding experiences the graduates will encounter in life.
“With fear comes a discomfort level that will force you to see what you are made of,” Antonetti said. “So, graduates, please savor the obstacles that you encounter in life. In the short term they will be difficult, but later on the character they build is immeasurable.”
Class of 2018 valedictorian Tharini Prakash then delivered an empowering speech to her fellow classmates that called on them to continue to be courageous as they move into the future.
“It is our responsibility to make a real difference with the lessons that we have learned: to be brave, to stand up for what is right, to demand equality, to have empathy and be kinder than we need to be,” Tharini said. “I am proud of what we have accomplished thus far and look forward to seeing what we all do in the future.”
As the ceremony continued, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham reflected upon the impact of the connections the graduates have made during their high school experience.
“When you move on from here remember the lessons you learned from the people throughout the Sachem Central School District,” he said. “To me, these relationships are what define our district. These relationships define the spirit of ‘We Are Sachem.’”
As the congratulatory remarks concluded, members of the Class of 2018 crossed the stage one-by-one to receive their diplomas, and family and friends emphatically cheered as the new graduates threw their caps to the sky, leaving the field alumni of Sachem High School East.