Anyone who attends Mineola High School knows that time goes faster there than anywhere else, class of 2018 salutatorian Amnol Patel said during Saturday’s commencement at 10 a.m. at LIU Post’s Tilles Center.
Her sentiment was echoed by class valedictorian Anisha Shah, who said it seems like just yesterday she and her peers were learning their district-wide computer logins in elementary school.
Now, she and many of her fellow graduates are setting up their college emails, Shah said.
While the graduates are preparing to move on, it is at Mineola that they learned how to be the best versions of themselves, Shah said.
“This is the kind of growth we should be proud of,” Shah said. “Or should I say #Mineolaproud.”
Patel reminded her peers that graduation is more than just a celebration of this one moment – it’s a celebration of all the other moments that led up to it.
It’s a celebration of homecomings, sporting events, plays, prom and more, Patel said.
In addition to the top two students’ speeches, there were several musical presentations at the commencement
Peter Campanella played the “Star Spangled Banner” on guitar.
Alicia Healy and Roseleen Kaur sang “Unwritten,” and another group of vocalists sang “The Climb.”
Before graduates took their last steps as Mineola students, they heard some parting advice from Superintendent Michael Nagler, board of education president Christine Napolitano and Principal Whittney Smith.
Smith told students that the world they are entering is filled with opportunities for them to do something special.
Years ago nobody would have imagined that the largest taxi company would own no cars, and nobody would have thought that “being a drone operator would be a viable job,” Smith said.
Napolitano reminded students that some of life’s most meaningful moments will happen on “very ordinary days.”
Nagler told students to always strive for the highest level of listening – empathetic listening.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood,” Nagler said. “… Something our world seems to have forgotten in social media age.”