Blanketing the front lawn of their high school in a sea of blue and gold, the Bayport-Blue Point High School Class of 2014 concluded their academic journey in the district in late June with a ceremony rich in tradition and pride. This year’s 178 graduates signified the start of the ceremony by marching to the sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance,” played by the high school band and orchestra, before taking their seats amid proud parents, family members and educators.
Throughout the ceremony, two themes resonated among the honored speakers: graduates were urged to continue to seek ways to improve themselves personally and professionally, and to never settle or let challenges stand in their way.
“I encourage you to take risks and be open to life, because it's the chances you take, the people you meet and those who you surround yourself with that will truly define who you are,” said Principal Dr. Gaurav Passi.
“Never say no to yourself…never let fear of failure, rejection, not being good enough or other people’s ideas of what our capabilities are get in the way,” said Board of Education President Rebecca Campbell.
Speaking to today’s ever-changing world, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Butera noted that success often comes to those willing to collaborate with others. He also advised students to be passionate about what they believe in, adapt, continue to learn and never accept the status quo.
Many of the memories created by the class were shared by Class President Isabelle Goldstein in an original poem she had co-written with fellow graduate Connor Stevens and salutatorian Natalie Mottl, who had created a Twitter account to encapsulate the graduates’ thoughts and recollections.
In her address, valedictorian Cassandra Dooley encouraged her peers to reflect on their past as a guide to the future. “As we embark upon this new chapter of our lives, the fear of the unknown may be daunting, but we must remember that we have faced this fear many times before,” she said. “Just as before, we will face new obstacles. We will also encounter new opportunities. It is through these obstacles and opportunities that we can find success, if we are able to learn from failure, pursue our dreams and recognize our power to make a difference.”
Before each graduate received their diploma, members of the class who had maintained an unweighted GPA of at least 90 percent were commended and presented with honor medallions. Additionally, as a special tribute, Goldstein presented retiring James Wilson Young Middle School Principal Susan Haske with an honorary BBP high school diploma.