Schreiber High holds in-person commencement ceremony for class of 2021

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Schreiber High holds in-person commencement ceremony for class of 2021
Schreiber High School held an in-person graduation for the Class of 2021 last week. (Photo courtesy of Schreiber High School)

BY RAVYN MALVINO

Port Washington’s Schreiber High School held an in-person graduation ceremony on Thursday that pointed up the importance of persistence.

Students marched onto the football field to a recording of “Pomp and Circumstance” played by Schreiber High School students followed by the singing of the national anthem by students Madeline Cirker, Lily Dell, Emery Franco, Jonathan Goldberg, Kate Magocsi, Olivia Massa, Ian Miller, Aden Neuwirth, Rebecca Packer, Colin Reardon, Eliana Rivera, Gavin Shaub, Aminya Suwannatat, Aden Tiger and Miranti Tsmonicus conducted by choir director John Spezio.

Principal Ira Pernick addressed the class of 2021. “If we only ever played our favorite moments of life over and over again, we would miss all the learning that comes from the rest of our lives,” he said. “No one’s life looks exactly like their Instagram feed. None of us post the moments we have to tolerate to endure.”

Craig Weiss, assistant principal for the class of 2021, began with a quote from Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Weiss said that if this year has taught us anything, it is that persistence is key.

“My hope for you, the class of 2021, is that Schreiber has prepared you to make your choices wisely and that Schreiber has taught you to have grit and the determination that you will need to persist in this world,” he said.

Student speaker Noah Loewy told the story of a professor who handed each of his students a sheet of paper with a black dot in the center, telling them to write about what they saw. Each student focused on the dot and none wrote about the white space surrounding the dot. “After all we’ve been through this past year, we could just be another group focusing on the dark spots,” said Loewy. “We had a high school experience like no other, but it was still so rewarding. We had fun, we had an impact, and we had some serious growth.”

Student speaker Sam Korn said: “There is one thing that unites us all today, change. Whether or not you are ready for what comes ahead, just remember there are hundreds of people sitting around you about to experience the same thing.”

He told the story of his mother, who became sick and died at the start of the pandemic. “If it’s one thing that speaks volumes about the Schreiber High School class of 2021, it’s our ability to make the best of a bad situation,” he said.

The Bogart Scholarship was awarded to Jimin Lee for exceptional academic excellence as well as athletic and extracurricular achievements.

School Superintendent Michael Hynes addressed the Port Washington families and the class of 2021, thanking those who supported the graduates on their journey. He told the graduating seniors: “You have endured so much over the past 15 months. You have endured many challenges and have risen through them to make it to this day. How many students can say they graduated during a pandemic?”

He concluded, “Always be kind. You need to remember you never know what other people are going through when you meet them. Be who you needed when you were going through hard times.”

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