West Hempstead High School held four in-person graduation ceremonies on August 1-2 to honor the Class of 2020. Despite the challenging second half of their school year, the graduating seniors were rightfully celebrated at the intimate events.
Each ceremony began with the students processing onto the school’s new turf football field under a Rams themed black and gold balloon arch. Members of the board of education and central administration, including Superintendent Dan Rehman, were in attendance to show support for the graduating seniors.
The ceremonies commenced with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by thoughtful farewell addresses from Senior Class Co-Presidents Victoria Tudisco and Kristine Romero, valedictorian Runako Miot and salutatorian Sabrina Manuel, all of whom volunteered their time to speak at all four ceremonies throughout the weekend.
“Our senior year was not your average year, or the one we dreamt of,” Victoria Tudisco reminisced. “We didn’t get our final class night or fashion show, but one thing is certain; we made history, and no one will forget the Class of 2020.”
“The Class of 2020 has gone through an immense amount of turning points,” said Kristine Romero. “But the opportunity to achieve greatness is within our reach, and each of us has the potential to change the world.”
Salutatorian Sabrina Manuel reminded her classmates that high school was more than just classes and homework. “High school was also about discovering our interests, fulfilling our dreams and having time to interact with the interesting people around us.”
Valedictorian Runako Miot encouraged his classmates to remember to have pride in all of their accomplishments. “We made it Class of 2020, through all of the tests the papers, the projects, the pressures of SATs and colleges applications,” he said. “So, congratulations, be proud, celebrate and most importantly believe in yourselves.”
Mr. Rehman and Principal James DeTommaso then welcomed the graduates and their families, commending the students for their hard work and persistence throughout their high school careers.
In his address, Mr. Rehman introduced a new theme for the 2020-2021 school year inspired by the Class of 2020. “As a tribute to you and your perseverance, the theme of our school district next year will be Ram Resolve, which is about having anything you want if you are willing to work for it.”
Principal DeTommaso also esteemed the graduating students for continuing to raise the bar. “Students, you have overcome great obstacles and met this moment with courage and strength,” he said. “Be proud of your accomplishments and when you look back at this moment in your life, let it motivate you to believe that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.”
Following the addresses, Senior Class Advisor Natasha Mejia and Athletic Director Christopher Mistretta assisted in awarding the students their diplomas. The Class of 2020 then moved their tassels to the left, signifying their successful completion of their high school careers. As they processed off the field, parents and family members proudly applauded the graduates.
The district congratulates the Class of 2020 on all of their triumphs, hard work and diligence throughout this year and their entire high school career. For more photos and individual shots of each graduate receiving their diploma, please visit the school’s album here.