Seniors, and Administrators, Graduate

Seniors, and Administrators, Graduate photo

Despite an initial rained-out ceremony, North Salem High School’s class of 2017 was all smiles during the June 21 rescheduled affair at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah.

The school’s 55th annual commencement ceremony kicked off with a processional to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” courtesy of the high school band.

The four senior members of the Madrigals – Aidan Gerard, Sarah Rossi, Jake Wildhorn and Jack Zimmer, sang the National Anthem before retiring Principal Dr. Patricia Cyganovich welcomed all to the ceremony and introduced salutatorian Michael Selzer.

In his address, Selzer pointed out that social media encourages self-promotion among his peers and often leads to an unrealistic image.

“And we do this, not searching for happiness, but instead pursuing the approval of others,” he said, encouraging his peers to “live beyond the scope of Snapchat.”

“If you can live your life in pursuit of happiness, instead of approval, then go out and find that happiness,” Selzer concluded.

Before each graduate enjoyed a moment of celebration as they walked across the stage to collect their diploma, the class was officially certified by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Freeston and Board of Education President Ms. Carolyn Aversano.

Dr. Cyganovich also listed the many awards that seniors have earned this year, and with the help of Assistant Principal Dr. George Bovino, presented a number of additional awards to seniors on stage.

Valedictorian Stephanie Blackwood earned a laugh from the audience when she summed up the last 13 years of her peers’ education as, “Stuff happened and now it is over.”

She went on to encourage her fellow graduates to “embrace your passions and define yourself and your successes in any way you please.”

In her final remarks as principal, Dr. Cyganovich spoke on behalf of herself and Dr. Bovino, who will also retire at the end of the school year. She shared a video highlighting some of the things that make the school and local North Salem community a special place, drawing inspiration from New York Yankee Derek Jeter’s recent tribute to New York.

“Thank you, North Salem, for asking a lot of us so we could ask a lot of others,” she said. “Because the truth is, no matter where you go in the world, when a place feels like home as North Salem does to us, you never really leave. It will always be with you.”