Division Avenue High School seniors graduated at Hofstra University's James M. Shuart Stadium on June 19.
Having overcome a tumultuous and unpredictable school year, Division Avenue High School seniors took their seats on Hofstra University's James M. Shuart Stadium Field on June 19 to close the chapter on their high school careers and look toward the future. The graduates' spirits were evident during the school's 62nd commencement exercises as senior members of the concert choir, under the baton of Alison Sellars, sang the national anthem and parents and friends cheered for the students from the complex stands.
In his opening remarks, Principal John Coscia told the students that the day represented "a redemption for time lost and a renewal of our freedoms." He also congratulated the Class of 2021 for their optimism during a time of adversity. "During a time that set people up for desperation and pessimism, you relentlessly and doggedly chose hope...the persistent pursuit of hope, and a return to the life you love so deeply never wavered."
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tonie McDonald described Division Avenue High School spirit as "COVID Proof." She also encouraged the students to continue to "support the causes that fuel your passion" and to "cheer for the people around you."
Dr. McDonald also recognized a handful of students who would be entering the military upon graduation and thanked them for their choice to serve the country. Each of the cadets received a flag from one of the district's classrooms so they "can take a piece of the schools" with them. ?
Student Council President Jasmeet Sahota reflected on the exciting moments during high school and noted, that as graduates, each will take different paths that will define them. Additionally, Class of 2021 President Natalie Brook Chua reflected on high school and told her peers, "The choices made today shape our tomorrow."
During his valedictory address, Nikhil Keer called the Class of 2020 "extraordinary" and "amazing" and said, "no mask is strong enough to stop us from breathing fire." He told his classmates that "achievement is about so much more than a diploma. It's about hard work, efforts and goals, and new opportunities we have because of all we've done."
Board of Education President Peggy Marenghi then congratulated the graduates on their resiliency as she officially presented the Class of 2021. Each of the graduates then walked across the stage to receive their diplomas to the cheers of peers and family. In conclusion, the senior concert choir members performed Joyce Eilers Bacak's "The Irish Blessing" prior to the graduate's procession off the field, marking their becoming alumni of the Levittown School District.
From left, Division Avenue High School Class of 2021 President Natalie Chua, Valedictorian Nikhil Keer and Student Council President Jasmeet Sahota all gave words of wisdom during the commencement exercises.
Under the baton of Alison Sellars, senior members of the concert choir performed during the graduation ceremony.
Valedictorian Nikhil Keer gave his address during the graduation ceremony.
Former Board of Education trustee Karen Quinones-Smith presented her son Christopher Smith with his diploma.
Division Avenue High School Student Council President was presented his diploma by Principal John Coscia as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tonie McDonald and Board of Education President Peggy Marenghi look on.
Division Avenue High School salutatorian Colin Muessig received his diploma.
(Right) Former Board of Education trustee Kevin Regan's wife, Joann Regan, conferred a diploma to her grandson Austin O'Regan.