It was a morning of celebration as more than 200 students from Division Avenue High School's Class of 2019 entered the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Center at Hofstra University for the high school's 60th commencement ceremony on June 22. Wearing white and blue caps and gowns to represent their Blue Dragon pride, the graduates were led by building administrators and central administrators including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tonie McDonald, the Levittown Board of Education, staff members and distinguished guests.
Assistant Principal Jaclyn Guidice opened the ceremony by introducing Student Council President Madison Gillis who recited the Pledge of Allegiance as Daniella Roselli signed. The senior members of the concert choir, directed by Alison Sellars, performed the National Anthem before Principal John Coscia addressed the graduates.
"The future that awaits you is second to none; you are second to no one. You are graduates of Division Avenue High School," he said. "When you dream of achieving something, always remember: Pride, Honor and Commitment. Good luck everyone and congratulations."
Dr. McDonald followed with her own congratulatory remarks and encouraged the graduates to keep exploring and learning.
"Learning is a lifelong process," she told them. "As you go through life, please look for opportunities to learn something new. If you're planning on attending college, attack your classes with wonder and joy. Have fun. If you're going into a place of work, be the best you can be at your job."
Thomas Hutchinson, Division Avenue High School's valedictorian from the Class of 1990, served as the keynote speaker. Mr. Hutchinson spoke about his experience at Division Avenue High School and the mark that Levittown left on him. He compared life to baseball, as he was on the team in high school, and swapped his graduation cap for a Division Avenue baseball cap during his speech. Mr. Hutchinson shared some advice with the graduates as they prepared to embark on the next chapter of their lives. He told students that "progress equals happiness," "to find your why and feed it daily" and to "be grateful, always leave your mark and to believe."
The Division Avenue High School Symphony Orchestra, along with senior orchestra members, performed "Smooth" by Itaal Shur and Rob Thomas during the ceremony. The entertaining selection was conducted by Mark Martufi.
Salutatorian Michael Adams, Valedictorian Sean Wolf and Class President Jenna Horan also addressed their fellow peers, sharing their positive experiences from high school and lessons learned. Before receiving their diplomas, Board President Peggy Marenghi congratulated the Class of 2019 and wished them the best in the future.
Proud family and friends cheered as each student was recognized on stage. The graduates then watched a video presentation, featuring photos of their time in Levittown from elementary to high school.
Before exiting the ceremony, senior members of the concert choir performed "The Irish Blessing." The Division Avenue High School Symphony Orchestra led the students out with "March from Athalia" as the proud graduates transitioned from Division Avenue High School student to Division Avenue High School alumni.