Despite the decision to push back their graduation ceremony by two and a half hours due to sweltering hot and humid weather, Clarkstown South High School seniors took it in stride. The more than 350 members of the 2012 graduating class gathered with family and friends on the West Nyack school’s football field for a ceremony at 8 p.m. instead of at 5:30 p.m.
The class Salutatorian Andrew Kim and Valedictorian Sarah L. Mistele addressed their classmates who wore the traditional yellow and browns caps and gowns.
Kim compared the seniors' experiences in high school to the school's spring play "Into The Woods." He noted the play featured characters from various fairytales who did not appear to have similiarities or actual connections. However, the characters ended up joining forces for a shared goal.
Kim told his classmates, "There may be more in common than we realize. Just because we leave high school today doesn't mean that common ground disappears."
He reminded them they had their families to thank for bringing them together and providing the one place where they crossed paths and learned and grew together.
After 13 years of school and doing more or less the same things, Mistele said, now was the time the seniors would scatter and choose their future.
"As we move forward, we can choose the impact we will have on the world," she said. "With a determination to succeed and create the world that we want, we will be unstoppable."
Principal James Vitale said, "I wish you the Class of 2012 a successful and rewarding journey through life."
Superintendent Margaret Keller-Cogan handed out diplomas along with Board of Education President Doug Katz, Vice President Donna Ehrenberg and board members Kevin Grogan and Joe Malgieri and other administrators on the dias.
The students who were on the podium received their diplomas first and then formed a congratulation line for their classmates to pass through.
After the cermonial tossing of the caps, Sanum Shikh said she felt, "Pretty elated" adding she was, "A little relieved."
Erik Zalito said he felt pretty good and was happy the graduation was over.