Two hundred and seventy-two members of General Douglas MacArthur High School's Class of 2019 marked a milestone in their lives as they successfully completed their high school careers during MacArthur's 58th commencement ceremony on June 22. Held at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Center at Hofstra University, the graduates were supported by family and friends, building and central administrators, including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tonie McDonald, along with the Levittown Board of Education, staff and distinguished guests.
The proud graduates entered the ceremony to "Pomp and Circumstance" as loved ones cheered. Assistant Principal Anne Rao welcomed everyone to the celebratory event and introduced Class President Richard Neri III and Alyssa Amatulli to the podium for the Pledge of Allegiance. Senior choir members followed with the National Anthem and a moving performance of "I Lived" by One Republic.
MacArthur High School Principal Joseph Sheehan addressed the graduates, who he noted entered the high school when he first became principal.
"Members of the Class of 2019, you are armed with all the necessary skills, traits and characteristics that are paramount for success at the next level," he said. "To say it has been an honor to have started our journey's at MacArthur High School together four years ago and be able to witness you develop into the high quality, well-rounded, respected young adults you have become, would be an understatement. General Nation is a better place because of you."
Superintendent Dr. McDonald also praised the graduates on all that they have achieved and encouraged the students to "continue to care about the people around you."
James Chenevey Jr., keynote speaker, Levittown Memorial High School graduate and CEO of Earthlite, Inc., spoke to the graduates about his experience as a Levittown student and offered advice on how to achieve happiness in life. He encouraged the students to "practice being patient," "be open to other ideas and cultures," "always look to help others," "express gratitude every day," "seek leadership opportunities," "network" and more.
Salutatorian Hannah Kilmetis, Class President Richard Neri III and Valedictorian Saajid Chowdhury also spoke to their fellow peers. They praised the Class of 2019, emphasized their support systems and shared lessons that they have learned.
Under the direction of Joseph Romano, the MacArthur High School band performed, along with senior band members during the ceremony. The graduates then watched a commemorative video presentation of footage from throughout their senior year as they reminisced on the memories made. Board President Peggy Marenghi proudly presented the Class of 2019 before the conferring of diplomas. Loved ones cheered as students were recognized one by one on stage. After tossing their blue caps high, the graduates exited the ceremony ready to take on the next chapter of their lives.