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Bidding Farewell to an Inspiring Class at Graduation

A class with a unique path to graduation made it to that milestone moment on June 21, when Massapequa High School celebrated the Class of 2024 at an evening ceremony at Hofstra University’s Mack Arena.

Speakers noted that they were the first group of sixth graders to attend Berner Middle School, then began their high school years at the Ames Campus coming out of the COVID shutdown. Through it all, they boasted great achievements in multiple aspects of student life.

“The Class of 2024 has been a pleasure to watch mature, excel and evolve into young adults,” said Principal Barbara Lowell, who met them during that sixth grade year when she was executive assistant to the principal at Berner. “I have been so truly inspired by this class. From the artistically imaginative students, to the musically inclined, to the athletes and academic minded, our trustworthy and reliable students have achieved so many accolades.”

Superintendent Dr. William Brennan told the graduates that they are “the leaders our world needs” because of their ability to make a positive impact, inspire others, foster a sense of community and purpose, and stand up for what’s right. He reminded them that their experiences in Massapequa will help guide them to success.

“The most important part of any structure is its foundation,” he said. “Graduates, from the first brick that was planted by your parents and teachers, each brick has been placed securely. Today, you stand on the bedrock of your Massapequa school experience, enriched by the broader Massapequa community and anchored by your family upbringing.”

Valedictorian Victoria Chu was proud to be part of an amazing group of capable, hardworking and passionate people. Her message to her classmates was based on wise words from Walt Disney about the importance of moving forward.

“Life is filled with twists and turn, and there may be times when we want to fall back into our comfort zones,” Victoria said. “But taking risks, pushing ourselves outside of the familiar is exactly what has brought us to this success today.”

Salutatorian Ava Minnini said as they graduate high school and prepare for what’s next, they just need to think of the first time they went into the unknown – starting kindergarten.

“As we embark on the stage of our lives, I’m sure we will regress back to the anxiety we felt as kindergartners and our colleges will feel as big as our elementary schools once did,” she said. “We will undoubtedly face new challenges, and with them, new fears. We have all proven to possess the qualities necessary to propel ourselves beyond our fears.”

Speakers also included general organization President Jayden Pearl and Class of 2024 President Ryan Kurowski. Jayden spoke of health issues he has battled since birth and used those challenges to tell his classmates not to be afraid to run into the storm, “Because something truly amazing can be waiting for you at the other end.” In a humor-filled speech, Ryan also took time to praise the friendly, caring, thoughtful and welcoming Class of 2024, and thank the administrations, teachers and staff who made their time in Massapequa schools so amazing.

Ms. Lowell recognized four students who will be entering the armed forces or military institutions after high school. Following the presentation of medals in each subject area, it was time to hand out the diplomas to 520 graduates. Retiring Executive Assistant to the Principal Michael Quigley and English teacher Irene Karayiannis announced each name. Once the diplomas were conferred, the tassels were moved and the caps were tossed.