Suffolk County’s Class of 2018 Valedictorians Honored
Suffolk County’s highest-achieving students from the Class of 2018 were honored by school district superintendents, administrators and parents during the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association’s 24th annual Valedictorians Luncheon, held at the Hyatt Regency Wind Watch Hotel in Hauppauge on May 31.
The celebratory event was punctuated with music provided by the Hampton Bays High School Jazz Ensemble, under the baton of Jennifer Halsey.
Congratulating the students on their hard work and achievements were Bernadette M. Burns, SCSSA vice president and West Islip School District superintendent of schools; Lars Clemensen, SCSSA president and Hampton Bays School District superintendent of schools; Dr. Kenneth Bossert, SCSSA president-elect and Elwood School District superintendent of schools and Roger Tilles, New York State Education Department Board of Regents member.
During her keynote address, New York State Commissioner of Education and University of the State of New York President MaryEllen Elia encouraged the valedictorians to ask questions about what it took to get here today and how they can, in turn, support and champion public education tomorrow. “We all benefit from public education, which needs to be supported,” Elia said. “You can give back to support the work that was given to you.”
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 Boston College, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, Purdue University, Stony Brook University, Tufts University and Yale University. The SCSSA and its corporate sponsors also awarded 12 scholarships to graduates planning to pursue a career in education or social services.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Bossert thanked the valedictorians for giving school district administrators and parents a reason to be proud. “It’s the work you do that makes the work we do rewarding,” he told the students.