Class of 2016: A Class of Distinct Character and Pride


Approximately 550 seniors in Syosset’s Class of 2016 took their turn at the podium to accept their high school diplomas during the school’s 58th annual Commencement held at Hofstra University.

Following crisp renditions of the traditional processional march performed by the Syosset High School Orchestra and “The Star-Spangled Banner” from the school’s group, The Adelettes, Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante delivered the welcoming remarks, then addressed the Class of 2016.

“Over the course of your education, you were given the opportunity to strengthen your individuality and broaden your horizons,” Dr. Durante said to the soon-to-be-grads. “By doing so, you brought a new perspective into our school and made a distinct impact by making us better than you found us. For that I thank you!”

Dr. Durante referenced many of the impressive and distinguishing accomplishments highlighting the character demonstrated through the outreach and service they provided, including trips to nursing homes, walkathons, food drives, peer tutoring, Bravesfest and last year’s 7 in 7 Campaign, whereby the school collectively raised money for eight desperately needed heart surgeries for children around the world.

The evening also featured inspirational speeches from Board of Education President Michael Cohen and trustees Christopher Di Filippo and Andrew Feldman – all proud fathers of Class of 2016 members. Superintendent Dr. Tom Rogers, class speaker Sophie Rosenbaum, valedictorian Benjamin Senzer and salutatorian Michael Collet also provided words of wisdom to the graduating class.

Citing many of the interests and career plans of her class members, speaker Sophie said, “Our class is filled with extraordinary people, who will go on to do extraordinary things.”

Michael urged his classmates to work hard and not sleep on their dreams. “Dreams do not come true just because we dream them,” he said. “We shouldn’t be dreamers. We should be doers. We have to earn it.”

Benjamin advised the class to avoid being content with their present accomplishments, and continue to strive for greater success and fulfillment in life. “Look up to the future with curiosity and endeavor,” he said. “Look up to what you have not yet accomplished. Look up to what you can be.”

Class president Josh Thomas and vice president Jeremy Lamstein presented the class gift: additional digital message boards to keep students apprised of events and news happening at the high school. Josh was also the recipient of this year’s Elisabeth T. Babcock Award, presented by the Board of Education to a senior who best demonstrates altruism throughout the course of the year.

Dr. Durante honored students that received scholarly recognitions including National Merit scholars, finalists and commended students, as well as the Intel Science Talent Search semifinalists, Siemens Competition semifinalist, Siemens Competition Regional finalist throughout the year. Members of Syosset’s PTA/STA presented scholarship awards, as did members of SEPTA.

The commencement culminated with each student walking up to receive their diploma, and the traditional cap toss.

Click here to view a slideshow from Graduation