Sayville High School Commencement 2019
Embracing Changing Times
Sayville High School Commencement 2019
Under the bright morning sunshine, the Sayville Class of 2019 formed a dazzling braid of purple and gold as they paraded from the high school toward the football field. The Sayville High School band played the march Pomp and Circumstance for the approximately 250 graduates moving past the cheering crowds who hollered greetings with gusto from the stands. The processional included both a select group of “Teachers Who Made a Difference” and over 180 Sayville Alumni representing graduating classes from 1938 through 2018.
That Saturday promised increasing humidity, but despite the unpleasant weather predictions, the Class kept their cool for the June 29, 2019 Commencement ceremony. Once the graduates had taken their seats, Sayville High School Principal Ronald Hoffer welcomed the entire assembly; the Senior members of the High School Chorale officially opened the ceremony with a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
During his address to the Class of 2019, Sayville Superintendent Dr. John E. Stimmel remarked, “We called you children once but here you are as young adults about to begin a new season in your lives. Though time and distance may prevent us from holding your hands as you go forth, we will always hold you in our hearts. For to us you will always be considered the children of Sayville, our pride and joy.”
In his address entitled Change Happens, Sayville Class of 2019 Salutatorian Nicholas Cameron noted the importance of having core values especially in a climate of constant change. “My point is this, it often seems that the only constant in our lives is change, and with all of this change happening around us, it can become difficult to focus on the most important thing: who we are.”
For the traditional musical interlude, the winner of the Patricia Ann Kubelle Memorial Music Award, Gabriella Medeck, gave a rousing and sensational performance of Times Are Hard for Dreamers from Amelie.
Acknowledging that they were at a turning point in their lives in his address entitled Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc, Sayville Class of 2019 Valedictorian Sohum Sheth found wisdom and guidance in Plato’s timeless philosophical theory about human perception, The Allegory of the Cave. “We must first have the courage and confidence to leave the comfort of the lives we know now, to leave our caves, as each of us will do when we embark on the next chapter of our lives.” He asked his fellow graduates to embrace “this overly philosophical way of saying ‘trust yourself,’ because it has shown me that the tools which will pave the road to our future lies in our hands.”
Before introducing the Board of Education President, Principal Hoffer welcomed the Alumni in attendance and praised them for their remarkable enthusiasm especially Alumni from the Classes of 1938 and 1943 who participated this year.
Sayville Board of Education President John Verdone spoke with pride on behalf of his fellow board members about the accomplishments of the entire graduating class and urged them to continue their outstanding work, “Do not be a spectator in the future; be a participant. Be present in the lives of others….” Mr. Verdone continued, naming the four students: Christopher Hlavaty, U.S. Marines; Maximus Maizus, U.S. Marines; Anthony Musorofiti, U.S. Navy; and Maria Sanabria, U.S. Army. “As the proud parent of a son that served our county in the United States Coast Guard," Verdone said, "we need to recognize and thank these men and woman for their choice to serve our country in the United States Military.” His stirring appeal evoked a standing ovation from the graduates and audience.
After the diplomas were awarded to each of the graduates, Sayville Class of 2019 President Karl Stein gave the Response for the Class: "Don't Lose Your Keys." He explained why he had made the symbolic gesture of putting a purple lanyard on each of the graduate’s chairs; “A lanyard is most commonly used to hold a key,” and Karl focused his remarks on how their experiences in Sayville gave them many keys to success. “As we go through our next step in life, we begin to take on more responsibilities. …The lanyards will hold all of the keys that will guide us through our responsibilities and help us understand our growing place in this world.”
Thanking the Class President for his response, High School Principal Ronald Hoffer reflected on the accomplishments of the Class, the dedication of the administrators, faculty, and staff, as well as the remarkable enthusiasm of the Alumni in attendance; he then invited the Seniors from the High School Chorale to lead the closing song, God Bless America.
Principal Hoffer concluded the Commencement by congratulating and complimenting the members of “this outstanding class for your commitment to excellence in every arena. I can state, without hesitation that the Class of 2019 has been a remarkable class to work with in all endeavors. … As a representative of our faculty, staff, and administration, it has been my pleasure to have worked with you for the past four years.”
Hearing their High School Principal wish everyone a “safe and an enjoyable day,” the graduates arose and tossed their hats skyward in jubilation while the crowd roared with delight.
2019 Commencement Speeches
Excerpts from High School Principal Ron Hoffer's Commencement Speech
The Class of 2019 has been an outstanding class to work with in all endeavors. Our students, your sons, daughters and friends, have earned many significant honors, both individually and collectively, and they have been outstanding representatives of our school and community. As I reflect on their accomplishments, I do so with a great deal of pride and satisfaction. The Class of 2019 has made significant contributions in Sayville High School being named a National Blue Ribbon School. We have also recently been recognized by New York State as a Recognition High School (formally known as “A Reward School”) for the 7th consecutive year.
At this time, I am extremely proud to announce that 97% of the students in the Class of 2019 will go on to further education, and that approximately 94% of our graduates have earned Regents diplomas this year.
This is a time for celebration and an opportunity to recognize the noblest of commitments. Would the following members of the Class of 2019 please stand: Christopher Hlavaty, Maximus Maizus, Anthony Musorofiti, Maria Sanabria. These young adults will be serving in our US military and providing us with the veil of freedom we have all come to know and love. Thank you for your anticipated service.
Many, if not all of the aforementioned accomplishments, would not have been realized without the support and dedication of our high school’s faculty and staff. I would like to seize this opportunity to wish four members of our high school staff and faculty well as they enter retirement. They are: Diana Gozaloff, Kate Scordamaglia, Marie Sinclair and Sally Stoll-DePompeo. Thank you for your combined 95 years of service.
All members of the Class of 2019 have had the benefit of having a tremendously dedicated and caring group of professionals who have assisted them in achieving this milestone of high school graduation and they are the teachers of Sayville Public Schools. At this time, I would like to recognize a group of teachers who have been selected by the students in the Class of 2019 as “Teachers Who Have Made a Difference” in their lives. As I read through the list of teachers, if you are with us this morning, please stand and remain standing so that we may recognize you. Please reference our commencement program to find the graduate who recognized the following teachers: