Islip Schools held their grad- uation ceremonies last Friday and Saturday, breaking the Class of 2020 into four sections within parameters of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate regarding …
Islip Schools held their grad- uation ceremonies last Friday and Saturday, breaking the Class of 2020 into four sections within parameters of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate regarding social-distancing restrictions.
June 26 was the first day Cuomo allowed graduation ceremonies, and Islip held two of its four ceremonies that afternoon. The first section, La-Pe, was the first section to walk, followed by Pi-Z later that evening. A-De and Del-K finished off the ceremonies on Saturday morning, and bled into the afternoon. Each of the sections was composed of a maximum of 150 students, and graduates sat alongside their two guests, as opposed to with their classmates.
Both the valedictorian, Darienne Rogers, and the salutatorian, Maddie Germano, spoke at the final ceremony on Saturday that began at 11 a.m. Germano is also the class president, and Rogers is the vice president. After each gave their speeches, the two approached the podium after their classmates walked and instructed the Class of 2020 to move their tassels from the right to the left.
Superintendent Ellen Semel and Islip High School principal Jon LaRochester gave speeches, too. Each of those who spoke applied emphasis to the difficulties the Class of 2020 faced, a year that many consider to be missing out on vital high school experiences, like senior prom and graduating alongside the entire class.
But positivity is what stuck at the close of each of their speeches, as the mindset of trudging through unprecedented and difficult situations breeds strength. Experiencing something other than a conventional celebration and seamless senior prom may not be ideal to a high school graduate, but the Class of 2020 has persevered and succeeded regardless.