Mineola High School Class of 2024 graduates celebrate with a traditional cap toss. (Photo courtesy of Mineola School District)

Presenting The Class Of 2024

Over the past few weeks, high schools across the country have been celebrating the graduating class of 2024. Here are some highlights from graduation ceremonies in the Nassau Illustrated News coverage area:

Mineola High School
On June 22, students from Mineola High School graduated at the Tilles Center. The class of 2024’s commencement ceremony marked the high school’s 133rd annual graduation. Family and friends, as well as school staff and administration, gathered to celebrate the achievements of this year’s graduating class.

To begin the ceremony, graduate Josephine Owens performed the “Star Spangled Banner” on saxophone. Student Lily Cullen later performed “I Will Always Remember You.”

The class of 2024’s Valedictorian is Ria Thomas, and the Salutatorian is Lucas Beresheim. Class President Kelsey Morrison addressed the audience. Speakers reflected on their high school memories while also looking ahead to the future.

Garden City High School
Garden City High School held its graduation on June 22 at the high school to celebrate the Class of 2024. To begin the ceremony, the student council president led the Pledge of Allegiance, and senior choir members sang the National Anthem.

Salutatorian Elaine Wang addressed the student body. She thanked the school faculty, administration, her friends, family and classmates.

“In our journey to graduation, we have all experienced the pressures of high school, whether on the football field or while studying at our desks at 2 a.m.,” said Wang. “In the midst of everything, it is important to reflect on the moments that bring us joy.”

Administrators, student body class president and Valedictorian James Nagler spoke as well.

“Think of all that you’ve accomplished since [starting high school],” Nagler told his classmates. “It starts to add up… We, in our experience at school, have done a lot.”

Wheatley High School
Wheatley School held its 67th annual commencement ceremony on June 16. Students led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance, and in addition to the “Star Spangled Banner,” students performed musical interludes throughout the event.

Mark Kamberg, Board of Education president, addressed the graduates: “Share your wisdom and continue to enrich the lives of future classes so they too can graduate with the same set of skills, personality and wisdom that you are graduating with today.”

Student representatives had the opportunity to speak to their fellow graduates, family and friends.

“My fellow classmates,” one said. “Good luck with your future endeavors. May you find new partners, new rhythms and new adventures that keep you waltzing away.”

W.T. Clarke High School
On June 21, W.T. Clarke High School held its commencement ceremony on the school’s football field. Parents, family members, friends, classmates, and school administrators celebrated the senior class.

Superintendent Kenneth Rosner and Board of Education President Matthew Melnick addressed the audience.

“You have all played a part in making me feel at home here in the great community of East Meadow,” said Superintendent Rosner.

Student speakers included Valedictorian Juliet Cimaglia, Salutatorian Lauren Henning and Class President Britney Roller.

“As graduating students, we all need to embrace these new challenges that await us,” Cimaglia said. “There is nothing that we gain from allowing our fear of failure, loss or imperfection to paralyze us.”

“The Class of 2024 has persevered through it all,” Henning said. “We trekked onward and went on to do amazing things. Together, we have made the Class of 2024 one with which to be reckoned. As we embark on our new endeavors, I hope that everyone keeps that spark of curiosity. I’ll be rooting for all of you.”

Herricks High School
The Herricks High School senior class celebrated its graduation on Tuesday, June 25 on the football field.

Joan Keegan, Principal of Herricks High School, led the ceremony. After seniors Ava Lorenzana and Camryn Larock recited the Pledge of Allegiance, Senior Madilyn Silverman led the audience in singing the National Anthem.

Nancy Feinstein, a member of the Board of Education, spoke on behalf of the Board. She reflected on her path in life and offered wisdom to the graduating class.
“Strive to leave a mark on the world that reflects your passion, and if you’re not sure what that is right now, don’t sweat it,” she said. “Not all who wander are lost. Some of us are just taking the scenic route.”

Devon Lee and Dylan Lee, twins, were Herricks High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. Instead of delivering separate valedictorian and salutatorian speeches, the twins delivered one joint speech, standing side-by-side.

“While people often expect valedictorian and salutatorian speeches to be something eye-opening and monumental with elaborate extended metaphors and long words, we have none of that. We are the same as all of you: confused, vulnerable high schoolers doing the best we can with no idea what to expect in the future,” Dylan quipped, eliciting chuckles from the audience.

Jocelyn Chiu, the president of the Class of 2024 Student Government Executive Board, addressed the audience. Chiu spoke highly about her classmates’ conviction, determination, and talents.

After Chiu’s speech, the air filled with confetti and balloons as students received their diplomas.

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