Blue skies and sunshine flooded the new turf field at Locust Valley High School on June 25 as the Class of 2022 prepared to mark the end of their time in the Locust Valley Central School District. One hundred fifty-nine seniors, dressed in their green or white caps and gowns, entered the field as family and friends cheered them on from the bleachers. They were led by central and building administrators and the Locust Valley Board of Education.
Student government co-presidents Caitlin Bianco and Giavanna Villella led the Pledge of Allegiance, which was followed by “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the Locust Valley High School Concert Chorale. Locust Valley High School Principal Patrick DiClemente welcomed loved ones and distinguished guests to the special occasion and commended the graduates before him.
“Our senior class represents an outstanding composition of students demonstrating scholarship, leadership, service and quality of character,” he said. “Students, you are a talented, dynamic, kind and powerful group. Through your years at LVHS, you have managed circumstances and demonstrated leadership. You’ve grown, you’ve learned, you’ve shared, supported and celebrated good times and memorable moments among one another, the staff, your families and our community.”
Following his remarks, Board President Brian Nolan addressed the seniors, encouraging them to reflect and think about how each of them would like to move forward.
“This is the time to explore and figure out who you want to be and what you want to do…really think, ‘what can I do that will make me happy, make me feel accomplished, and make this world a better place?’”
Members of the Locust Valley Concert Chorale returned to the field to perform, “In My Life” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Three graduates were then introduced on stage to give their final remarks. This included salutatorian and senior class president Nicole Berritto, student speaker Michael McGlone and valedictorian Elizabeth Gresalfi.
Nicole reflected on the last week of school and spoke about a final assignment that she completed with her classmates. It asked the seniors to reflect on their high school careers and write down a piece of advice that they would give to their freshman self. Nicole shared some of the responses in her speech. This ranged from enjoying the little things to not being afraid about what is to come but embracing it.
During Michael’s speech, he spoke about how he believed their high school experience had been modeled after stoicism and shared specific school memories that fit within the four stoic virtues: courage, moderation, justice and wisdom.
In her valedictorian address, Elizabeth pulled inspiration from the rap song “Remember the Name.” While sharing lines from a verse in the song, Elizabeth noted that she believed they characterized the senior class and what they have accomplished in Locust Valley. She reinforced the great success that the Class of 2022 has had since freshman year during the school’s annual homecoming competition and some memorable athletic achievements.
“So, if this song has taught me anything, it is that this grade is ready,” she said. “We have done what it takes to be remembered here in Locust Valley. Now all that is left is to keep going, to keep trying, learning and experiencing. If we are able to do that, then it will be easy to remember the name of the Class of 2022.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham provided the closing remarks where he offered advice and reflected on the character and many achievements of the senior class.
“The Class of 2022 has left and indelible mark on Locust Valley High School that our graduates should all be incredibly proud of,” he said. “Today I am going to ask our graduates to consider three simple things moving forward. Be a hard worker, be a risk taker and always be a good person…working to meet these three challenges throughout your lives will help you out along the way.”
Following his remarks, five seniors were recognized for their military plans after graduation. This included Caitlin Bianco, Karen Cheung, Elisabeth Dunne, Gage Kahn and Roger Tighe Mullarkey Jr. The graduates received a round of applause for their dedication to our country.
Each senior was then announced on stage as they proudly received their high school diploma from Mr. DiClemente and were congratulated by Dr. Graham and Mr. Nolan. With roars of applause from loved ones, the graduates moved their tassels from right to left to signify the completion of high school. They then tossed their caps high in the air, ready to take on the next chapter of their lives.
Date Added: 6/27/2022