Division Avenue Graduates Cross The Stage
Graduates from Division Avenue High School in the Levittown Public School District celebrated triumph as they marked the conclusion of their years spent in high school on June 18. Gathered with family members at the Hofstra David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex, it was a joyous event as graduates reflected on their academic careers and looked towards the future.
Starting off the 63rd commencement, Student Council Vice President Christopher Powers presented the Pledge of Allegiance and senior members of the concert choir, under direction of Alison Sellars, sang the national anthem.
Division Principal John Coscia welcomed families and had graduates think about the meaning of "commencement" "to begin or come into existence," he said, "which all of you are doing here today. You're coming into your own existence as young men and women about to enter a new world."
The first diploma to be handed off by Mr. Coscia was for Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tonie McDonald, who is retiring this year. He acknowledged Dr. McDonald's guidance that has helped Levittown be a renowned and successful school district and added, "What I consider to be Dr. McDonald's greatest strength is that she can get you to believe in yourself better than anyone else."
In her remarks, Dr. McDonald told graduates that their commencement will be unforgettable but reminded them that the most impactful moments happened alongside their peers at school. "Keep in mind, those experiences would not have happened without the love and support from the people around you," she said. "Along the way, however, you were thrown some curves. This particular group of students has negotiated situations we never could have imagined."
?Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti, a graduate of Division Avenue, was the keynote speaker and shared his congratulations. He discussed life lessons he has learned in "diligence," "altruism," "hard work" and "self" representing Division Avenue's acronym.
Salutatorian Grace Lim invoked quotes from the animated series "Avatar: The Last Airbender" that she retained as life lessons. "'It is important to grow wisdom from many different places,'" she cited. "Just as it's important for us to spend time in a structured educational environment every day, it's also important for us to be kids and have fun."
In her valedictory address, Simar Parmar told her peers how grateful she is to have attended high school with them. "Although our high school experience had excessive social isolation and rescheduled and canceled events, we made it through and we're all able to celebrate this momentous occasion."
Class of 2022 Vice President Kate Egan gave the class address and also reflected on the struggles her class has overcome. "The pandemic hit right in the middle of high school and forced us to grow through it," she said. "It gave a new appreciation for coming to school every day."
Board of Education President Peggy Marenghi congratulated the Class of 2022 and led the conferring of diplomas. Each graduate crossed the stage to receive their diplomas to the sound of thunderous cheers from friends and family. After a slideshow showcased the many memories made at Division Avenue, members of the senior concert choir performed Joyce Eilers Bacak's "The Irish Blessing," marking the Class of 2022 becoming alumni of the Levittown School District.