Two-hundred and fifty-two members of Division Avenue High School's Class of 2018 proudly entered the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex at Hofstra University dressed in blue and white caps and gowns on June 16 to "Pomp and Circumstance" courtesy of the school's orchestra, conducted by Mark Martufi. Surrounded by loved ones, administrators, board of education members and faculty, the senior concert choir performed the National Anthem at the start of the ceremony, which was also interpreted in sign language by student Elaina Burwell.
As Principal John Coscia welcomed guests, he addressed the Class of 2018, reflecting on the positive impact that they made on the high school and provided examples of how the class has proven numerous times that they are "dragon strong."
"What is unique about this class is that strength also presents itself in many other ways," he said. "Not only with your many outstanding academic and athletic achievements but with a profound resilient and a bond that no one will ever break."
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tonie McDonald also approached the podium to speak to the graduates. She reflected on her personal experience previously working in the high school, how special the school community is with the tight bond that alumni play and offered words of encouragement.
"You have made your mark on your school, now I challenge you to make your mark on the world...keep that Blue Dragon pride in your heart always," she said.
Keynote speaker and Division Avenue High School alumnus Supreme Court Justice Thomas Feinman also offered words of advice to the Class of 2018, including "take your dreams seriously, have confidence in yourself."
In addition, salutatorian Charles Mauro, valedictorian Joy Kim and class president Heather Bonsignore addressed their peers as they reflected on their years at Division Avenue High School and looked to the future. Board of Education President Peggy Marenghi also commended the Class of 2018 on behalf of the board which was followed by the conferring of diplomas.
Loved ones cheered as the graduates made their way onto the stage where they were congratulated by Principal Coscia, Dr. McDonald, central administrators, board of education members, Levittown Council of PTA's President Mary Rickard, Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti, Town of Hempstead Councilman Dennis Dunne and Judge Feinman.
Before exiting the complex, a video was presented which featured the graduates and their time in high school. With a quick cap toss, the students left the ceremony with pride, officially alumni of Division Avenue High School.