The Long Beach High School Class of 2020 brought sunshine to Veterans Field on June 26, when students received their diplomas during a special commencement celebration. While the pandemic put a twist on this year’s graduation, the district carefully planned an event that honored the seniors in ways that they will remember.
The 97th Commencement Ceremony featured a full day spotlight on the Class of 2020 — a group of students that overcame unforeseen obstacles and demonstrated determination, compassion and community spirit. The graduates arrived at the middle school, many in decorated cars, during designated time slots in which they were called up to accept diplomas and walk across the stage. As they took their first steps as the newest alumni, they were met with cheers from members of the board of education, administration and faculty members who stood along the sidelines with congratulatory signs.
The Class of 2020 wore the traditional blue caps and gowns and took photos in several locations prior to exiting the field. Seventy-seven seniors who completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program donned their stoles, and 26 Seal of Biliteracy recipients displayed medallions signifying their achievements.
The graduation ceremony also included a tribute to Island Park Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rosmarie Bovino, who is retiring after 12 years in her role. The board of education and administration presented her with an honorary diploma.
A video that will be provided to the graduates includes remarks from New York State Senator (and Long Beach alumnus) Todd Kaminsky, Board of Education Vice President Tina Posterli, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Gallagher and Principal Jeffrey Myers.
“You have a front row seat to all the change that is upon us and no better voices right now exist to carry us forward and onward,” said Ms. Posterli. “The spirit of your community will be with you wherever you choose to go and keep you grounded and Long Beach strong. History will remember you, Class of 2020. What will your story be?”
“You will never regret a life of service,” said Dr. Gallagher. “I hope that you will use your gifts to do great things, to help us find cures to global pandemics and to build communities where everyone can reach his or her full potential regardless of race, income status, country margin or any other factor other than basic human dignity.”
““You all made it through, and you will use that courage and grit to make it through tough times again,” said Mr. Myers. “The fact that you took everything that was thrown at you and maintained a focus on achieving your goals has been an inspiration to me.”
“You’re going to continue to thrive, and I want you to know how much I believe in you,” said Senator Kaminsky.
The forthcoming video features reflections from valedictorian Arjun Gupta, salutatorian Hayden Henry and Class President Isabella Salsone, in addition to other student speakers. They shared impactful messages with their peers about perseverance and making a difference in the world.
“We are prepared to make our marks because we are destined to do so,” said Arjun. “It is inevitable that the world will continue to change. It is also clear that we are prepared for the challenges set before us.”
“Even though after today we will all be heading down our own paths that will bring us to our own unique places in life, we all succeed by following one painfully simple principal, and that is striving for our absolute best in everything we do,” said Hayden.
Isabella focused on the topic of resilience.
“This class is beyond ready for whatever lies ahead in our journey to higher education and independent life,” she said. “I ask each and every one of you to use your resilience to continue to inspire others in your future endeavors.”
Congratulations to the Long Beach High School 2020 and all other students who are moving up after an atypical year. The middle school and elementary schools honored their graduates in the form of virtual promotion ceremonies.