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Suffolk County’s Class of 2016 Valedictorians Honored

Suffolk County’s highest achieving students from the Class of 2016 were acknowledged and honored by school superintendents, administrators and parents during the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association’s 22nd annual Valedictorian Luncheon, held at the Hyatt Regency Wind Watch Hotel in Hauppauge on June 2.

The celebratory event was punctuated with music provided by Middle Country School District’s Centereach High School Jazz Ensemble, under the baton of Lee Schaarschmidt.

Congratulating the students on their hard work and academic achievements were Susan Schnebel, SCSSA president and Islip School District superintendent of schools; Lars Clemensen, SCSSA vice president and Hampton Bays School District superintendent of schools; Ken Bossert, SCSSA Secretary and Port Jefferson School District superintendent of schools; and Dr. Charles T. Russo, SCSSA president-elect and East Moriches School District superintendent of schools.

During her keynote address, 2014 Olympic silver medalist, 2011 Team USA World Champion and former Harvard University women’s hockey team captain Josephine Pucci suggested that the valedictorians adopt a “growth mindset” that thrives on challenges and sees failure as a springboard for growth.

“In order to grow, failures are bound to happen,” Pucci said. “If they don’t happen, it means that you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.”

Each valedictorian was called to the stage to receive a certificate and gift of recognition. During their acknowledgment, the universities they plan on attending were announced, along with their intended majors. The impressive and prestigious list of schools included Princeton University, Stanford University, Cornell University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tulane University and Vassar College. The SCSSA and its corporate partners also awarded 12 scholarships to graduates planning to pursue a career in education or social services.

This was the only event in which the Class of 2016 valedictorians were honored together, and it was a truly memorable occasion for all in attendance.

Click here to view the slideshow

Click here to view additional photos from the event