The evening of June 21 marked the end of one chapter and the beginning of countless others for Lincoln Orens Middle School eighth-graders, as they graduated from the Island Park Public Schools and looked forward to their high school years in Long Beach or West Hempstead. Members of the district’s board of education, administration and staff, along with students’ families, gathered to celebrate this educational milestone.
Lincoln Orens’ 55th annual commencement ceremony was held in the Steven L. Foster Auditorium, where graduates sat proudly on stage in blue gowns. A slideshow of photo memories played as guests took their seats, and the event kicked off with the Graduation Orchestra’s performance of the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” and a salute to the American Flag.
Principal Vincent Randazzo welcomed the students and audience members, and introduced eighth-graders Morgan Polete, Vianka Calderon and Robin Xiao, who discussed the Class of 2017’s past, present and future, respectively.
The ceremony featured an awards presentation during which 25 eighth-graders were recognized by district and community organizations for their academic excellence, musical talent, athletic skill, school involvement, volunteer efforts and overall good character. The event also served as an opportunity for students to express gratitude towards their teachers. Several retiring staff members were acknowledged and applauded for their service to the district.
Members of the chorus performed a medley that encompassed this significant step into the future the Class of 2017 takes together. They sang a combination of the songs, “The World’s Greatest,” “The Climb” and “Graduation.”
The highlight of the event was the much-anticipated presentation of diplomas by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rosmarie Bovino and Board of Education President Jack Vobis. Students were called up one-by-one to accept this token of their accomplishments.
Immediately following this exciting moment, Lincoln Orens Color Guard conducted the Transfer of Colors, at which time the graduates turned their flags and sashes over to their younger successors. The Color Guard Band provided accompanying music.
As the event came to a close, Dr. Bovino addressed the Class of 2017. She discussed goals and important values, and shared excerpts from the students’ own autobiographies that they completed in English Language Arts classes. The result was a compilation of positive notions that the eighth-graders can take into their futures as they pursue their dreams and help make a difference to others.
“I encourage each and every one of you in this terrific graduating class to dream the life you want to live and live the life you dream,” Dr. Bovino said. “To do this, however, you must begin by seeing yourself as the person you want to become. Then, you must do everything you can to develop the skills and knowledge that you will need. Finally, you must remember that you cannot achieve your goals without developing the character that will be required of you.”
As the graduates exited the middle school stage, they were greeted with cheers from all those who look forward to hearing about the success stories ahead in high school and beyond.