Seniors celebrate graduation!


Eastport-South Manor Class of 2023

To the joyous cheers of family, friends and faculty, the Eastport-South Manor  Junior-Senior High School Class of 2023 processed into the school gymnasium on June 23 for the annual commencement ceremony, honoring their collective accomplishments and one of the most important milestones of their lives. 

After the graduates took their places, class vice president Clare Gayer led the recitation of the pledge of allegiance, followed by a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by trio Kylee Jehle, Lennon Lotardo and Maeve Meyers.

The ceremony continued with a welcoming address by board of education president James Governali, who compared graduation to crossing the finish line of a 13-year marathon. He noted that the marathon taught each graduate the importance of consistency, to embrace change, to never give up on themselves, about failure, that they have support, and that hard work works.

“The foundation that you received here at ESM during your marathon has prepared you to be successful wherever your path may go,” Governali said.

Center Moriches High School Class of 2023

The Center Moriches High School symphonic band played “Pomp and Circumstance” as the gymnasium became a sea of red caps and gowns for graduation on June 24. Graduates walked into the gymnasium for one last time as their friends and family cheered in the stands.

Principal Marissa Mangogna welcomed the crowd to Center Moriches High School’s 123rd commencement ceremony. Senior class president Noelle Jordan led the Pledge of Allegiance before the symphonic band performed the national anthem.

Following the performance, several speakers delivered congratulatory remarks, including board of education president George Maxwell and vice president Danielle Dench.

Class president Noelle Jordan returned to the podium to reflect on the class’ journey at Center Moriches High School. Additionally, Center Moriches High School graduate Hannah Slifstein spoke to the seniors and offered advice for the future.

One of the top academic leaders of the class, salutatorian Emma Morris, addressed her peers, reminding them the importance of teamwork and encouraging them to cherish connections as they move forward.

“There are those without a team. Reach out; include those you think would benefit. Add new members to your team and join new teams yourself. We are all only as strong as our connection to others,” she said.

Senior student-musicians then joined the symphonic band for a brief musical tribute. They played “Prairie Dances,” as Mrs. Mangogna noted it would be their last time performing as a high school student.

Superintendent of schools Dr. Ronald Masera congratulated the soon-to-be graduates before class valedictorian Jillian Ryan took the stage. Ryan summarized all of the positive changes her peers have made through their involvement in community fundraisers and charities. She urged the Class of 2023 to continue to make change in their future.


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