Proud family, friends, central administrators, board of education members and faculty packed the Lynbrook High School gymnasium for Lynbrook North and South middle school’s commencement ceremonies on June 20. The eighth-grade graduates dressed to impress for the evening as they entered their respective ceremonies to “Pomp and Circumstance.”
During South Middle School’s ceremony, the eighth-grade chorus performed “Waving Through a Window” from the popular Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” along with the song “Everlasting Light.” Student speakers James Malinka and Emma Ward from South and Emily Paladino from North addressed their peers and the audience during their ceremonies as they reflected on their middle school careers, thanked their teachers and set their sights on the future.
Lynbrook South Principal Caryn Blum, who will be retiring at the closing of the school year, provided an overview of the graduate’s middle school years while offering words of advice. “Take advantage of all that Lynbrook High School has to offer,” she said. “Remember all the many things that we taught you while you were at South.”
Lynbrook North Principal Sean Fallon also addressed North’s graduating class, stating that he could say something kind about every single student and how amazing the Class of 2018 is. He reflected on their time together and like Blum, left students with words of advice to take with them into the next chapter of their educational journey. This included “find what you love,” “don’t give up easily,” “don’t quit when you face failure,” and “realize that the choices you make now will shape who you become later.”
In addition, special awards were presented during both ceremonies to exceptional students. For the first time at South Middle School, a new scholarship award called the “Spellbound Distinguished Artist Award” which was created by eighth-grader David Padilla, was presented to eighth-grader Rachel Edelstein. The award was formed from Padilla’s original song “Spellbound,” which Padilla donated some of the proceeds from the song to the scholarship award. The award honors a student-artist at South Middle School and was Padilla’s token of appreciation to his music teacher Annie Pasqua and the school’s music department for all of their support in his various music endeavors.
During North Middle School’s ceremony, a video yearbook was presented which highlighted the Class of 2018’s memorable experiences at North. Before the conclusion of the ceremonies, the board of education presented the graduates with their diplomas, officially granting them the title of incoming high school freshmen.