Islip's Class of 2024 looks to the future with hope and confidence

Once a Buc, always a Buc


On the beautiful summer night of June 26, Islip High School’s 99th commencement took place, as the graduating seniors of the Class of 2024 walked on to the school’s athletic field in proud purple and white, ready to be honored for a landmark education achievement.

After an opening processional from the Islip High School Graduation Band, directed by Steve Campanella, senior Daniel Rubinson performed a stellar rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” while the vocal septet of Parker Barry, Lucas Bohr, Jessica Cruz, Skylar Greene, Rebecca Leo, Leela Lopez and Rubinson sang “Happiness” from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Student Union president Emily Lewis and vice president Emma Cirulnik served as commencement emcees, welcoming the graduates and attendees to the ceremony.

Board of education trustee Paul Austin, who graduated from high school 50 years ago, provided an enlightening and entertaining look at the state of the world and culture in 1974 as well as 1924. Shifting to the present day, Austin lauded the academic, athletic, and artistic achievements of the current graduating class.

“Look at all that’s been accomplished during your time in high school,” Austin said. “Now imagine 50 years from now, 2074. Some of you will go into careers that don’t even exist now. Some will change careers to keep up with advancing technology. Others will go back to school to stay up with the changes. It is all good. Go with the changes. There is hope for the future and you are the future.”

“You are a resilient bunch. Given what you’ve achieved over the past four years, imagine the possibilities that the next four years will bring?” principal Dr. Lara Gonzalez told the graduates. “We’re excited about the promise that your graduation holds for you, your families, and our community. As much as we will miss you, know that you will have many people here at your soon-to-be alma mater who will be rooting for you.”

Both salutatorian Erica De Lapi and valedictorian Jaci Narducci shared heartfelt, inspiring messages with their fellow graduates. De Lapi talked to her classmates about the value of saying yes, while Narducci shared a message about the uniting power of hope.

“As you prepare to take your place in the long purple line of high school graduates, I borrow from the words of former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Francis Dunford Jr., when I tell you that your responsibility from this point forward is to use your agile minds, your bold ideas, and your unlimited potential to show the world what right looks like and what it means to be from Islip,” superintendent Dr. Dennis O’Hara said.

After receiving their diplomas from members of the board, the new graduates turned the tassels on their caps before tossing them to the skies, ready to celebrate with their families and walk into a bright future. 


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