On the evening of June 20, Island Park’s eighth-graders showed that they were ready to take on their dreams and embark upon the challenges and opportunities of high school. Members of the district’s Board of Education, administration and staff, along with students’ families, gathered in the Steven L. Foster Auditorium for the 56th annual commencement ceremony, as the graduates took the spotlight on their middle school stage one last time.
A slideshow of photo memories played as guests took their seats, and the event kicked off with the Graduation Orchestra’s performance of the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” and a salute to the American flag. Lincoln Orens Middle School Principal Bruce Hoffman welcomed the students and audience members and introduced Outstanding Achievement Award recipients Elsy Guzman-Amaya, Robert Adler and Victoria Lugo, who discussed the Class of 2018’s past, present and future, respectively.
The ceremony featured an awards presentation during which 25 eighth-graders were recognized by district and community organizations for their academic excellence, musical talent, athletic skill, school involvement, volunteer efforts and overall good character.
Members of the chorus performed a “Count on Me” song medley, which signified this milestone as they head into different futures as individuals, with the support of one another.
The highlight of the event was the much-anticipated presentation of diplomas by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rosmarie Bovino and Board of Education President Jack Vobis. Students were called up one-by-one to accept this token of their accomplishments.
Immediately following this exciting moment, the Lincoln Orens Color Guard conducted the Transfer of Colors, at which time the graduates turned their flags and sashes over to their younger seventh-grade successors. The Color Guard Band provided accompanying music.
As the event concluded, Dr. Bovino addressed the students and expanded upon the motivation that they already have within themselves. She discussed themes that Class of 2018 members unveiled in autobiographies that they completed in Gabriel D’Auria’s English language arts class, such as their families, friends, goals and strategies for achievement. She noted that they shared aspirations to become doctors, professional athletes, teachers, lawyers, architects, CEOs, mechanics, biochemists, singers, designers, personal trainers, bloggers and many other professions.
“These are great long-term goals,” Dr. Bovino said. “I was impressed that you all said you were committed to doing your jobs well. The best result to look forward to is knowing that, someday, others will respect you for the work that you do.”