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MHS Graduates Represent a Talented and Kind Class
The 524 graduates of Massapequa High School, clad in their blue caps and gowns, sat right next to each other at Hofstra University’s Mack arena, a sign that normalcy had returned for a class that experienced anything but that during the last three years.
The evening ceremony on June 17 was back at the normal venue, after families witnessed graduation from their cars in the Tobay Beach parking lot in 2020, followed by a socially distanced ceremony at Hofstra’s outdoor stadium last year. Principal Barbara Lowell said that the goal was to give the Class of 2022 as typical a senior year as possible, and that was mostly achieved. Herself a graduate of Massapequa High School 30 years ago, Ms. Lowell wants them to someday look back on their senior year with joy and fondness.
This year’s graduates were the first to attend Massapequa’s full-day kindergarten program. The last few years were filled with twists and turns, and ups and downs, but Ms. Lowell said the graduates will be remembered for closing out their 13 years of school with courage, grace and success.
“It is my honor to see them today as mature adults,” said Ms. Lowell, who first met this class in seventh grade when she was executive assistant to the principal at Berner Middle School.
Ms. Lowell recognized several members of the graduating class who will be joining the armed forces or enrolling at a military academy after high school. They received large applause for their anticipated service to the United States.
Valedictorian Matt McAuley, who will attend Cornell University, reflected on his educational journey in Massapequa, all the way back to kindergarten with a teacher whose last name was just slightly different – Mrs. McCauley. That was where he learned the most important lessons, not to eat glue or run with scissors. His Magnet program teacher, Ms. Natke, reminded him that a good day starts the night before and his German teacher, Frau Kahn, imparted that learning can be both challenging and enjoyable. From his wrestling coaches, the advice was to be better today than yesterday.
“Your measure of success should not be gauged by whether you are better than others, but by whether you are working your hardest to improve and to reach your goals every single day,” Matt said.
Salutatorian Erin Goldrick, who is off to Providence College, spoke about the change that comes with graduating high school. The past three years have taught the entire class that sometimes change is not up to them, but “we must rise to the occasion in order to face them,” she said.
Erin reminded her fellow graduates that leaving high school is not a loss, but rather an opportunity to use all of the lessons and memories to build an even brighter future.
Senior class President Anthony Langone thanked the teachers, coaches and friends who have made a positive impact on his life. He noted the kindness and care that seniors have shown to each other over the years. General Organization President Paige Bilich also had a message about kindness in her remarks.
“If Massapequa has taught us anything,” she said, “it’s that being kind to others will go a long way and it's something that will bring us far in life.”