Hats off to the Class of 2016


Clad in blue and maroon caps and gowns, hundreds of East Meadow and W.T. Clarke high school graduates were joined by honored parents, family members, faculty and administrators to celebrate the peak of their academic journeys with commencement ceremonies on June 26.

Filing in to the traditional strains of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance,” the seniors assembled on their respective schools’ football fields to the applause and cheers of welcomed guests in the stands.

In his address, Superintendent of Schools Leon J. Campo acknowledged the seniors for their hard work that had guided them to this place of distinction, recognition and accomplishment. He expressed his hopes that as they become the district’s newest alumni, they would take the knowledge and experiences gained over the past 13 years and embark on new horizons.

“Remember that each one of us has been helped by others to reach this place of achievement and recognition,” Mr. Campo said. “Before you take leave of our wonderful school, thank those who have helped you. As you thank them, you enrich yourself.”

The valedictorians and salutatorians of both classes created one last memory with their fellow graduates by reminiscing about fond high school memories. They also encouraged them to thank their biggest supporters and embrace the uncertainty that the world has to offer.

East Meadow High School Principal Richard Howard congratulated the Class of 2016 for not only achieving outstanding academic, athletic, artistic and musical accomplishments, but also breaking a school record by having nine sets of twins in one graduating class.

“I think here today at East Meadow, we have a record that will never occur again,” he said. “From Feb. 14, 1998 through Nov. 30, 1998, eight sets of twins were born and somehow found their way to East Meadow High School’s graduating class of 2016. And as if eight weren’t enough, on July 1, 2014, we welcomed the Fuentes sisters into our East Meadow family.”

Across the district, W.T. Clarke High School Principal Timothy Voels commended the seniors for their academic successes, community service efforts and passions, while also wishing them a lifetime of happiness.

“My wish for you is that you find happiness in whatever you choose to do,” he said. “May your successes be more numerous than your setbacks, and [may you] ultimately experience less stress than contentment.”

Concluding his speech, Mr. Voels asked the graduates-to-be to venture out into the world with pride, holding on to the knowledge that they’ll forever be Rams.  

After receiving their diplomas and moving their tassels to the left, the Class of 2016 tossed their caps in the air, rejoicing with friends and family. The district congratulates both classes and wishes them happiness, prosperity and greatness as they embark on their new journeys.