Hundreds of mortarboards, festooned with glitter and sparkles, topped the heads of Freeport High School graduates as they marched in their red and white gowns to “Pomp and Circumstance” into Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on June 27.
Some of the caps featured inspirational quotes. Others sported the names of the colleges the wearers would be attending.
“I thought I was going to hold my emotions, but I didn’t,” graduate Nia Matthews, a Freeport Herald Leader summer intern, said. “I was in tears after seeing my [Advanced Placement] teacher, [Danielle] Nally, crying. I’m going to miss her, because I know she deeply cared about me and my classmates.”
During the ceremony, class of 2018 President Krystel Chombo spoke of her personal experiences and memories at Freeport High, followed by salutatorian Zoe Stetson, who shouted out her friends’ names during her speech. The class valedictorian, Joseph LaRocca, thanked his band teacher, Michael LaSorsa, for his support and encouragement, before sharing his future plans with his classmates.
District Superintendent Dr. Kishore Kuncham encouraged the graduates to continue living their lives like superheroes. “Be a Superhero” was a year-long theme at Freeport High.
“Just like the Black Panther would say, ‘Wakanda Forever,’ say ‘Freeport Forever,’” Kuncham said.
New Freeport Principal Joseph Mille noted that the seniors of 2018 were his first graduating class. He encouraged them to pursue their goals and become productive members of society.
Assistant Principal Wendy Hayes shared a story about facing adversity in life. “No matter what you go through in life,” she said, “keep pushing through. Make sure that you make this summer the best summer.”
“This summer. I want to make more memories with my friends before we all head in our own directions,” said graduate Maya Brown, another Herald Leader summer intern.
Matthews and Brown contributed to this story.