A deluge of rain that coasted by with thunderstorms several hours before Sayville’s Commencement on Saturday June 24th postponed the ten a.m. ceremony. But, on Sunday, June 25th at twelve noon, approximately 240 Sayville graduates in their iridescent purple and gold gowns gathered and celebrated under refreshingly sunny skies. With the lovely breezes coming from the Great South Bay, it was indeed well worth the wait.
Leading the processional for the last time was Superintendent of Sayville Schools, Dr. Walter Schartner who is retiring after forty-four years as an educator, thirty-nine in Sayville School District. He was accompanied by High School Principal Ron Hoffer, Board of Education President John Verdone, Board Vice President Thomas Cooley, along with district administrators, the incoming Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Stimmel, Assistant Superintendent of Business John Belmonte, and Board of Education members Maureen Dolan, Norm deVenau, and Keith Kolar. The enthused Class of 2017 marched toward their seats followed by the Teachers Who Made A Difference, and numerous Sayville Alumni participating in the Annual Alumni Walk.
The Class of 2017 listened to the philosophy and advice from Salutatorian Matthew Tomko, Valedictorian Michael Earvolino, and 2017 Class President Sean Barry. They were moved by the vocal selection For Forever sung by Class of 2017 All-National and Patricia Ann Kubelle Memorial award-winning vocalist James Baio. They applauded Christopher Russo for joining the military. They cheered for each other as a community of “emerging adults” who—in the words of their class president—by finding their own “passions and interests,” expect to have an impact on the future.
After Principal Ron Hoffer’s final congratulations, the graduates sailed their purple and gold mortarboards upward against a cerulean-blue sky.