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Syosset High School Conducts 65th Annual Commencement Exercises Celebrating the Class of 2023

More than 560 seniors accepted their high school diplomas at Syosset High School’s 65th Annual Commencement ceremony held on June 21, 2023 at Hofstra University.

Students marched into Hofstra’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex to “Pomp and Circumstance” played by members of the Syosset High School orchestra. Senior members of High School vocal group The Adelettes performed a stunning rendition of the National Anthem.   

This year’s class was highlighted by one U.S. Presidential Scholar, 16 National Merit Finalists, 39 National Merit Commended students, and six Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholars.

Syosset High School Principal, Dr. Giovanni Durante, delivered the welcoming remarks, praising students for their successful High School careers, and sending them off with well wishes for the future. “I have seen the great work you’ve done both inside and outside of the classroom, and want you to know that I believe in you,” Dr. Durante said. “I have confidence in you, and I look forward to hearing about all of your future successes.” Dr. Durante also recognized seven graduates who would go on to serve in different branches of the U.S. military: Daniel Chan, Timothy Chan, Nathan Edwards, Michael Schroeder, Jacob Brockey, Madison So, and Anoushka Rishi.

Superintendent Dr. Thomas Rogers reflected on the unique challenges this graduating class has faced, having spent a bulk of their time in High School in the midst of a pandemic. He encouraged students to live the story that they want to tell. “May each of your chapters be full of exploration, discoveries, interesting new characters, and inevitable conflicts successfully overcome,” he said. “Live everyday with attention to intention. Surround yourself with people who make your story better. Leave room for your dreams to grow, along with your imagination. And keep notes, because these will be tales you want to tell.”

Board of Education President Thomas Rotolo and trustee Carol Cheng also addressed the students, encouraging them to enjoy the next steps on their journey after High School. Mr. Rotolo also kicked off what he hopes will be a new graduation tradition. “No amount of artificial algorithms can compare to human emotions and feelings,” Mr. Rotolo said. “Now that I think about it, we should start a new High School graduation tradition of hugging each other for a minimum of five seconds. Get up!” The graduates and members of the administration stood up, embracing their classmates and colleagues in a touching moment of connection.

Class of 2023 Student Government President William Chantemsin and Senior Class President Parker Kim presented the class gift—benches for the courtyard outside of the High School cafeteria. Class Speaker Anika Shah acknowledged the challenges of the past four years, and how her class was able to thrive despite them. “We definitely were not expecting an online freshman year, a hybrid sophomore year, and a junior year behind plexiglass and masks,” she said.

The Valedictorian Alex Lin Wang and Salutatorian Zachary Kam also addressed their class. Zachary Kam thanked Syosset families, teachers, coaches, and mentors for laying the foundation for their future success. Alex Lin Wang reflected on the question often asked of every child: what do you want to be when you grow up? “This is probably the worst question you can ask a kid,” he said. “As you know, dreams change. Whether you know what you want to do today, or discover it later—it will never be too late.”

The commencement culminated with each student receiving their diploma and the traditional cap toss.