Congratulations Syosset HS Class of 2017

Graduation Photo
Syosset Senior Class of 2017: Defined by Excellence, Individuality, Happiness and Humanity

Approximately 540 seniors in Syosset High School’s Class of 2017 took their turn at the podium to accept their high school diplomas during the school’s 59th 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 Adelettes and Choral Pride, Syosset High School Principal Dr. Giovanni Durante delivered the welcoming remarks before addressing the graduates.
This year’s class was highlighted with 14 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, 33 Commended students and numerous award-winners in math, science and writing, as the 2016-17 school year commenced with a Blue Ribbon designation for Syosset High School by the U. S. Department of Education.
“You have had ample time to prepare for the future, but most importantly, as citizens of the world,” said Dr. Durante. “In addition to your academic achievements, you should be proud of the many schoolwide and communitywide humanitarian efforts you have organized to help shape your own character,” he continued as he mentioned the volunteer soup kitchens, walkathons, nursing homes and numerous other activities that the students participated in throughout their high school careers.
The evening also featured inspirational speeches from Board of Education trustees Rob Gershon and Laura Schlesinger – both proud parents of Class of 2017 members. Superintendent Dr. Tom Rogers, class speaker Janvi Pamnani, valedictorian Yash Samantaray and salutatorian Ben Rhee also provided words of wisdom to the graduating class.
Dr. Rogers advised the students that as they move on to a new school and new community of learners to balance their individuality with goals. “Continue to be yourself, while committing to being part of something even greater than yourself,” he said.
Janvi provided three pieces of advice to her classmates: to not look past the importance of its diversity as a group from varying cultures and backgrounds with varying interests and successes; to never forget about those who contributed to the great education they received in Syosset; and, borrowing the chorus from the popular Beatles song, “All You Need is Love.”
Ben, who was also named a U.S. Presidential Scholar, spoke of the uncertainty of being a freshman entering high school and the growth, interests, passions and callings that developed in each of his peers as time elapsed. “The wheels kept turning, and the uncertain, timid ninth-graders you probably saw on the first days of school were replaced by confident, motivated individuals, moving with purpose and flexibility.”
Yash shared one of the most important lessons he learned that he found helped him through the rigors of his senior year, including the pressure of the college application process.  “Enjoy every day,” said Yash, who found his participation in the school’s first boys badminton team “invigorating” and helped complete his work at an “unimaginable pace.”
“I’m not telling all of you to run out to a badminton court every time you get busy. Find something that makes you happy…always,” he said. “Next time you are feeling stressed, don’t try to squeeze in time for happiness. Make the time for happiness. It pays off.”
Class president Carly Battipaglia and vice president Benjamin Prevor presented the class gift: two stone chess tables for the school courtyard.
Dr. Durante honored students who received scholarly recognitions including National Merit scholars, finalists and commended students, as well as the Intel Science Talent Search semifinalists, and Siemens Competition finalist. 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.