Walt Whitman 437 Graduates

This group of seniors, as well as many of the girls expressed their individuality by decorating their hats.
This group of seniors, as well as many of the girls expressed their individuality by decorating their hats.
Your South Huntington Board of Education members left to right: Lisa Brieff, Nicholas Ciappetta, Edward Nitkewicz, Michele DeGaetano, Linda LaCara, Laura Carey, and Jim Kaden.
Your South Huntington Board of Education members left to right: Lisa Brieff, Nicholas Ciappetta, Edward Nitkewicz, Michele DeGaetano, Linda LaCara, Laura Carey, and Jim Kaden.
Dr. Bennardo pauses during an applause that struck home with the parents in the audience. “When you are happy, your parents are happy, when you are hurting, your parents’ hearts break, and they want nothing more than to take your pain away and bear it themselves.”
Dr. Bennardo pauses during an applause that struck home with the parents in the audience. “When you are happy, your parents are happy, when you are hurting, your parents’ hearts break, and they want nothing more than to take your pain away and bear it themselves.”
Friends on the athletic fields, in the classroom, and in the community, these graduates are ready for their next journey.
Friends on the athletic fields, in the classroom, and in the community, these graduates are ready for their next journey.
“I hope you take a piece of South Huntington pride with you into the next phase of your life.” – Superintendent Bennardo
“I hope you take a piece of South Huntington pride with you into the next phase of your life.” – Superintendent Bennardo

The weather cooperated as 437 Whitman seniors began the next step in their lives. Students, guests, and family members heard from Board of Education President Jim Kaden, District Superintendent Dr. David Bennardo, and Whitman Principal Kathleen Acker. After a little less than 2 hours, Whitman’s Salutatorian, Isabel Sakarin, and this year’s Valedictorian, Jonathan Sparling, along with their 2015 senior classmates, began a new and promising chapter in their young lives.

An excerpt from BOE President Jim Kaden:

"I have faith that one day America will realize the ideals and values to which we claim to aspire and I have faith in your ability to help make that a reality.  To that end I urge each of you as newly minted adults to participate in your own lives, your families, your community, and yes, your government.  I know that many of you already understand the need for, and the rewards of, community service and have been most generous with your money, talent, and time.  To those that have kept it up, to those that haven’t I ask that you please remember those that gave of themselves so that you could prosper.  When you are asked to do the same for the next generation, I hope you do so gladly."

An excerpt from Schools Superintendent Dr. Bennardo:

“No matter how many graduations I attend as a student, teacher, coach, principal, and now Superintendent, there is something remarkably unique about each one. Sure the buildings are different, the school colors vary, and the grounds have their own special characteristics, but those aren't the things that distinguish a graduation and give it special character. The truth is that it is the people who give a graduation its authentic signature.  It is the special stories – the individual and collective histories – the laughs – the cries – and the unique celebrations that only insiders can understand.  A high school graduation takes on a life of its own through memories of classroom accomplishments, the pain of late night studying, exciting playoff runs, amazing concerts, beautiful art shows, shared smiles of happiness during good times, shared hugs of comfort during tough times, and a unique history that galvanizes a class of amazing students, proud parents, and dedicated teachers into a true Whitman family. The reality is that outsiders simply cannot understand what you (well, we) are feeling right now.  Your Whitman experience is a complex, rich story that includes hundreds of twists and turns, ups and downs, and wonderful variables that combine for a lifetime of memories, and I consider myself so fortunate to have been invited in some small way into your class of 2015 family.  I have been at your side with pride and watched as you cheered each other through good times, and picked each other up during some incredible struggles and tragedies; and through each and every moment, I stood in awe of just how much you cared for your Walt Whitman family.  The truth is that I have never seen a class stick together and care for their school and each other so deeply.”

In her commencement message, Principal Acker shared a few requests that she would like the class of 2015 to consider:

“Please set goals for yourself as they are absolutely necessary to motivate us. It honestly doesn’t matter what the goal you set for yourself as long as you set one.

Have the courage to take a chance on yourself or for something you feel is right.  Be courageous. In the words of Walt Disney ‘All our dreams can come true...if we have the courage to pursue them."

“Have self-respect. Be comfortable in your skin, love who you are.  Each and every one of you is so important.   As Maya Angelou has shared with us ‘You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.’”

“Be a risk taker. Risk takers set goals and in spite of all obstacles do everything in their power to successfully attain them.  It means looking at things from a different angle and being creative. It means taking chances and being willing to learn.  Taking risks means making mistakes and having an understanding that in order to succeed you have to be willing to accept the fact that you may fail. As NBA player Michael Jordan states ‘I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.’”

Superintendent Bennardo’s, Principal Acker’s, and BOE President Jim Kaden’s complete commencement speeches will be printed in the July issue of Spotlight as well as a separate website posting.

Photo Gallery #1

Photo Gallery #2

 

Use the following link for a recap slideshow from Island Photography:

http://video214.com/play/b148J11ASO7DDg4B7u1PEQ/s/dark  

Congratulations Class of 2105: 

Angela Abbatiello, Omar Abdelsalam, Jennifer Kristan Agell, Yanira L. Aguilar, Jordan A. Aiken, Edeifo Brittany Aikhuele, Samia Akram, Alexander Alachan, Baylee Gray Albitz, Daniel J. Alcantara, Oscar Adonay Alfaro, Arionna Algarin, Erika Marie Algierie, Nicholas Aloisi, Meghann Alphonse, Alexandria K. Alpy, Emily Dianna Alvarado, Yiminzon Alvarado, Jossary Alvarado Bardales, Melanie A. Alvear, Harris Ansari, Cindy Aparicio, Ashly Marielle Arbizu, Jailene Arce, Stephanique Armstrong, Alexa Lee Arthur, Elisabeth Auguste, Hannah Faith Axmacher, Justin Baack, Rhenecia Balfour, Folasade Abimbola Bamgbelu, Olivia Gayle Banting, Jessica R. Barahona, Cassidy Layne Batkin, Jaron Batts, Sonia Bhardwaj, Robert John Bialoskurski, Emily Kirsten Biederman, Joseph D. Blackall, Donald Bonaventure, Nicholas W. Booher, Julianna M. Botta, Liana Marie Branis, Catherine Crystal Bromley, Amanda M. Brookman, Michael Brunet, Antoine Brian Butts-Miller Jr., Claude A. Cajuste, Kristin Jenna Calderone, Alison Eileen Calzada, Patrick C. Cammer, Akeem Campbell, Kevin Canales, Adrienne Cantave, Kristen Taylor Cardascia, James R. Carmichael, Emily Carmine, Benjamin A. Castillo, Christopher A. Cedeño, Paola Jolie Cespedes, Rene Chavarria Mejia, Jose Chavez, Sabrina Chavez, Kirandeep Cheema, Amy Chen, Maryam Choudhary, Christina Marie Civello, Sally Jane Cohen, Lauren Katherine Connolly, Kallie Conover, Nicholas Corallo, Ashley Lynn Corcoran, Nancy Thalia Cordero Pérez, Wendy del Rosario Cordova Cuadra, Briyana Cortes, Nathaniel Cortes, Alexandra N. Costa, Elizabeth A. Cruz, Thomas Cruz, Yaury Cruz, Fatima Cuadra, Arianna Cusumano, Abigail Lynn Daniels, Alexis Nicole Darrow, Jade Lauren Darrow, Blaise Shawn Davi, Erykah Renee Davis, William Charles DeFilippis, Samantha Paige DeGaray, Kieran J. Delaney, Angela DellaVedova, Sean Patrick Delle, Cesia Yesenia Deras, Justin Roz Devaraj, Joseph R. Di Piero, Nicole Grace Dia, Erin Casey Diana, Aldana Diaz, Christina Lucille Diffley, Collin Tyler Donovan, Matthew James Dougherty, Chase Mackenzie Dowdle, Kilian Duclay, Natalie Noelle Dunn, Keara E. Dunne, Tara Rae Edouard, Douglas W. Edwards Jr., Zermina Ejaz, Jasmine A. Erfan, Jamie Esperto, Eder Mauricio Estrada, Trevor Donald Ewald, Tyler Ezell Newkirk, Basher Faiz, April Rose Fallon, Vincent J. Feola, Raphael O. Fernandez, Thomas S. Ferrante, Michael Anthony Fiordalisi, Michelle Levia Fisher, William F. Flood III, Manuel Flores, Samuel Florian Jr., Gerard W. Foley, Thomas P. Foley, Cristobal Forno Gamonal, James Foti, Sheyla Franco, Gabriella Fuentes, Jessica Fuentes, Vanessa Lizeth Fuentes Trujillo, Rodrigo Javier Gallegos, Laura Ashley Galligan, Brandon Gallipoli, Connor Galvin, Michael T. Galvin Jr., Lesley Garay, Cynthia Gisselle Garcia, Diamond Ciara Garcia, Maxine Garcia, Ruben Garcia, Sarah Gasparo Sansiviero, Jacob P. Gemunder, Haley Angelica Gladitsch, Paige Gladstone, Hunter Payne Goldsmith, Ian Goldstein, Leslie Gonzalez, Matthew Evan Luis Goodman, Carlos G. Granados, Kayla Zarai Grande, Shawn, Bernard Grandoit, Elizabeth M. Greaves, Jacob Maxwell Greene, Nicole Patrice Grennan, Vanessa Stephanie Guardado, Peter Guastella, Oscar Gutierrez Garay, Leanne Elizabeth Else Haddock, Sumona Halder, Abdul Hanan Halimi, Jahmaal Shiloh Hall, Marielle Hammond, Danny Hankins, Joseph Samuel Hanna, Colleen Harrington Andre Harris, Gary Michael Harris, Nykwon Harrison, Merrill C. Harvey, Colin Patrick Hayes, William J. Heath, Matthew Henderson, Monica Henriquez, Robert J. Herley IV, Kassandra Luz Hernandez, Karla Y. Hernandez Amaya, Jaclyn Tara Hoffman, Scott Honickman, Kyle M. Hubbs, Karizma Ingram, Andrew Innocent, Cendy J. Interiano, Stephanie Nadine Jean, Melissa Jean-Pierre, Xavier Jeres, Allysia Marie Jones, Kalif Omari Jones, Gregory Josenhans, Jacob Christian Kahrs, Joshua Harris Kaplan, Hannah Nanette Karkari, Yoshitomo Kawasaki, Mara Ann Keen, Fahad A. Khan, Sarah G. Khemraj, Russell Kielawa, Lauren Nicole King, Julian Anthony Kleberg, Spencer Jacob Koch, Marina Catherine Kopf, Heather Nicole Kurash, Joshua D. Kurtzberg, Narenghie Dieunane Ladonis, Nikita Lakhanpal, Melissa Landaverde, Jameson C. Latko, Maureen Gabriela Leiva, Edwin Lemus Aguilar, Jailin Leon, Phoebe E. Levin, Mindy Lin, Megan May Lo, Christine LoNigro, Marissa A. LoCastro, Brianna Lopes, Danielle Lopes, Richard Lopez, Kahlil J. Lowe, Rebecca MacLeod, Nicholas J. Magnus, Chad William Maier, Monique A. Malcolm, Michael F. Malerba, Emily Morgan Manheim, Joanna Maniscalco, Brittany Mann, Emma Morgan Manson, Kate Manson, Keiry Manzanares, Kathryn V. Marchesiello, Ayesha Marghub, Tyler Maurice Marion, George Herman Marr III, Albert A. Martinez, Jonathan E. Martinez, Lizeth Martinez, Jack Marx, Hafsah Mohamed Marzouk, Yosif Mohamed Marzouk, Luis Christopher Masaya, Justin Matienzo, Ryan McAllister, Laura Anne McAuley, Alanna Marie McCarthy, William McCarthy, Colten McCrea, Colin McDermott, Sean Thomas McEntee, Christina Marie McFelia, Bridget McHale, Morgan McNulty, Nicole Lynn McNulty, Jason Medina-Moctezuma, William Mejia, Valentina Mendez, Aléysha S. Midgett, Albert Thomas Mills Jr., Ken Miyaguchi, Nixon Molina, Ja' Darius R. Moore, Timothy Morales, Nandi Nyanda Morancie, Samuel Alexander Moreno, Xayvion Morris, Jonathan P. Mozoon, Travis J. Muller, Gloria Jasmine Muralles, Zarmeen Mussa, José A. Nativi Ulloa, Pooja A. Navlani, Rabiya Nazir, Katelyn Neuman, Margaret M. Nostrand, German Nunez Maldonado, Sabrina Faryl O'Dette, Jonathan Robert O'Toole, Dakota Kenneth Obenauer, Sarah Catherine Olsen, Mikal Eric Oltedal, Vanessa N. Orr, Tyler James Osborne, Jimmy L. Ottinot, Alijan Ozkiral, Sandy E. Pacheco, Anthony Padinha, Sherina G. Parra, Gennaro Pascarella, Megha Patel, Shayna Gabrielle Pehel, Samantha Pellechia, Nicole Jamie Peluso, Angel G. Pena Reyes, Julia Kishanie Persaud, Brittany Peyser, SabinePhilippe, Sabrina Philippe, DanerahYvabeth Pierre, Zachary Richard Pietsch, Maxwell L. Pilgrim, Christian Pineda, Jenna Piromalli, Dillon Weil Platt, Tori S. Pomeroy, Heydi Ponce, Leslie Marie Portillo, Linda M. Powell, Shamar A. Powell, Melea Chantal Prepetit, Kaitlin Prianti, Richard M. Pulvirenti, Joel Tyree Quiles, McKenzie Behrens Quinn, Hira Qureshi, Derick Ramos-Monterroso, Jamal Rashid, Parrish Respass, Alexis Rose Restmeyer, Evelyn M. Reyes, Giancarlos P. Reyes, Zachary Reyes, Jaclyn Riccoboni, Gerald Riley, Brandon Adam Rivera, Dana Ashley Roach, Matthew Roberts, John Rocks, Cheryl Rose Rodriguez, Joshua Christian Roiland, William Roman, Victoria E. Rosa, Maggie E. Rosales, Christopher S. Ross, Sabrina Louise Rossero, Nicole L. Rowe, Jan Rozenveld, Fidel Antonio Rubio, Nicholas Antonio Ruiz, Chelsea Lynn Saccente, Shane Sacks, Irem Danielle Sadiklar, Marissa Safar, Wyatt Safran, Emmanuella Saint Charles, Benjamin Jahmon Sakarin, Isabel Jantana Sakarin, Korina Lynne Salcedo, Rafael Salcedo, Greta Salguero Morales, Allison Saltz, Khadijah Sands, Joseph Sansivero, Rebecca D. Sansotta, Brandon Santiago, Denilzon A. Saravia, Jose Junior Saravia, Robin Saravia, Abdul Sardar, Jennifer Ann Sarnataro, Francine Chu Sauer, Christopher Michael Scala, Jack Michael Schatten, Kristen Marie Schmidt, Evan J. Schneider, Steven Michael Schneider, Siena Schraml, Brian Schulman, Christopher Joseph Schulman, Melanie R. Schwartz, Sarah Scott, Ashley Rose Seebach, Robert J. Senecal, Joshua N. Shapiro, Ayumi M. Shiraishi, Abdullah Siddiqi, Mahum Jamil Siddiqui, Emily Silverio, Elisabeth Silverman, Sabrina Helen Simanoff, Michael James Simeone, Sara Slager, Jasmine J. Slaughter, Justin Smith, Luke R. Smith, Nikki Yetta Smith, Matthew Snyder, Zachary Sohn, Tariq Soliman, Jessica P. Sorto-Canales, Jonathan F. Sparling, Mary Rose Stone, Rachel Lynn Sundermier, Aryan Tabibzada, Evan P. Thode, Charles Spencer Thurer, Morsal Tokhie, Sahra Tokhie, Alyssa Torchon, Samantha L.Torres, Jenna Nicole Traina, Jaelin C. Trench, Ellen R. Tricomi, Katrina Ann Truglia, Carla Turcios, Manuel O. Uceda, Edwin O. Ulloa Moreira, Matthew Sean Umberto, Jenna Uryevick, Kieran Harrington Vaher, Lindsay Anne Varolian, Brian Vasquez, Alexis Vasquez Lazo, Kiara S. Vasser, Christian Vaughan, Martin Velasquez, Johnathan C. Vergis, Jennifer Vilorio Alvarez, Gabrielle Elizabeth Vital, Jonathan Patrice Vital, Christian James Vollmer, Sarah Wahab, Aheesha Fayola Watkis, Jack Watson, Ryan Francis Wendell, Yu Qing Weng, Sabrina White, Azjah Y. Wilkerson, Sheldon Williamson, Megan Larissa Windt, Eliza Wong, Sean Thomas Wuestman, Anthony L. Wurtz, Shaista Zadran, Kabir K. Zafar, Hannah Lillie Zaiff, Samuel Zakow, and Andy Zuniga.