The Northport High School class of 2022 celebrated its commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 25 alongside peers and family members at Tiger Stadium. The sunny ceremony follows years of hard work and growth and began with senior class representative Lisa Kovacs leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Salutatorian Michael Torres addressed the graduating class first, describing his personal growth and thanking those who helped him get to this point. “I learned something unique from each of you. I learned how to express myself. I learned how to accept support,” he said. “I learned extensively about topics I was never familiar with, such as history and geography. I even learned how good creek water can taste, surprisingly. I can’t even count how many times I was grateful for you all for pushing me out of my comfort zone. Thank you.”
Principal Rob Dennis reflected on how this class has endured many challenges and will undoubtedly shape the questions and answers of our future. “In your time at Northport High School, I know that you have developed the tools to be thoughtful communicators, empathetic analyzers, deliberate thinkers and open-minded collaborators,” he said as he addressed the new alumni. “We are proud of the people you have become. We are proud of the questions you have had to grapple with. Proud of the resiliency you have shown, and proud of the answers you have given us.”
Students were then handed their diplomas one by one as the crowd cheered them on. Parents, siblings and family members in attendance shouted in praise as students walked across the Northport High School stage for the final time.
Finally, valedictorian Esther Loring addressed her peers and followed a similar theme of gratitude and excitement for the future. She also encouraged her peers to continue to strive to make the world a better place through understanding and acceptance.
“Strive for understanding, or rather, acceptance, because it’s extremely difficult to understand something that you have never experienced yourself. Engage yourself in the world. Don’t be afraid to try new things outside your comfort zone. Although it may be scary, to do so will also be very rewarding,” she said.
Esther concluded by reminding her peers that they can have an impact on the world and that this is only the beginning.
“If you end up in a situation that you do not like, try not to feel like it’s impossible to change your trajectory, or the trajectory of the world, for that matter. If you believe something’s impossible it will be, but if you hope for a possibility of change, it might just actually happen. Realize you don’t know everything, and that is a beautiful thing. Look at knowledge as fluid, not as a fixed thing and don’t feel bogged down in the things you don’t know. See it as endless opportunities to learn and grow… The next few years are a prime opportunity to discover who you truly are [and] make yourself into the person that you want to be,” she said.
Congratulations to the class of 2022!