Suffolk County’s Class of 2019 valedictorians celebrated
Suffolk County’s highest-achieving students from the Class of 2019 were honored by school district superintendents, administrators and parents during the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association’s 25th annual Valedictorian’s Luncheon, held at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook on May 30.
The celebratory event was punctuated with music provided by Elwood School District’s John H. Glenn High School Chamber Strings under the baton of Karen Gellert.
Congratulating the students on their hard work and achievements were Dr. Kenneth Bossert, SCSSA president and Elwood School District superintendent of schools; Dr. Ronald Masera, SCSSA vice president and Remsenburg-Speonk School District superintendent of Schools; Dr. Yiendhy Farrelly, SCSSA secretary and West Babylon School District superintendent of schools; and Bernadette Burns, SCSSA president-elect and West Islip School District superintendent of schools.
Dr. Bossert told the valedictorians that they possess the many attributes of Elwood School District’s mascot, a knight, in that they have demonstrated humility, honor, sacrifice, faithfulness, courage and grace. “Today, we are all knights,” he said.
During the keynote address, Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini told parents and educators that education is vital to the security of our communities and nation and that by navigating the hard issues they empower students. To the valedictorians, he said that people often told him he would fail, but that he did not allow others to tell him he could not do something. “Your goals and plans may change over time, but think how to best serve the community,” Mr. Sini said. “This will happen if you do something you love.”
Each valedictorian was called to the stage to receive a certificate and gift of recognition. During their individual acknowledgements, the universities they plan to attend and their intended majors were announced. The impressive and prestigious list of schools included Columbia University, Cornell University, Drexel University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Northeastern University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Stony Brook University, the U.S. Naval Academy, University of Southern California, Villanova University and Yale University.
The SCSSA and its corporate sponsors also awarded 16 scholarships to graduates planning to pursue a career in education or social services.
In her closing remarks, Bernadette Burns told the students, “Your high school is not the place you’ve gone to; it’s the place you go from.” She continued by encouraging the valedictorians to listen to others, be considerate, think beyond themselves and to never forget that little acts of kindness will be remembered long after the act itself.