By Riah Sharma
After four long years, our seniors have finally made it to their graduation. On June 25, Centereach High School celebrated the hard work of the class of 2017d. As Dr. Lydia Patton had once said, “graduation is the beginning of knowing who you are, why you are, and always knowing where you are going.” The speeches of our G.O. president, Cassidy Treanor and Senior Class President, Raquel Levy, have proved this statement to be quite true. These seniors have set a great example for the upcoming upperclassmen and they have demonstrated to their class, the growth that they have experienced over the years at Centereach High School. While Raquel took her classmates on a journey down memory lane at Centereach High School, Cassidy spoke of her class in terms of the ukulele. She explained that while their instrument went out of tune many times throughout the year, in the end they were finally able to play the melody. Of course, we cannot forget the speeches of salutatorian, Kelly McLaughlin and valedictorian, Demi Lambadis. Their speeches brought tears to our eyes, as we couldn’t feel more blessed to have such smart and talented students as part of the senior class of Centereach High School. As the two thanked their family, friends and teachers, they also left us with very important lessons. Kelly taught her class to explore their talents, never limit themselves in any way and to broaden their horizons to pave new paths. Similarly, Demi taught her class to never stop living. She further discussed her role model, Mrs. Melfi. Demi explained that Melfi spreads positivity through the remind app which uplifts and distresses her students. This led to her second lesson that, success is rooted in positivity. Demi’s last and final lesson was to find a lesson in every situation. Not only did these speeches make us feel proud to walk alongside such talented students, but it also taught us to be thankful of the great teachers that help us through the process we call high school. As hard as it is to send our seniors off to the next chapter of their lives, we know with absolute certainty that they will make great changes in this world. As much as we would love to keep these seniors in our school for another year, one day we will see their faces in the newspaper and we will be proud to say that these students had walked the halls of Centereach High School. Congratulations class of 2017!!!!
By Demi Lambadis
Hello all, and congratulations class of 2017! We made it! Before I start, I have a disclaimer for all of you. Sometimes I think I’m funny, but in reality I’m not at all… so all I ask is that you laugh when you hear something that might resemble a joke. You can laugh with me, you can laugh at me, I don’t really care, either way i’ll be happy.
Okay so, first and foremost I would like to begin my speech by thanking everyone who made this moment possible for me. I will start by thanking all of my teachers for dealing with me, the girl who asks a million questions. I thank Mr. Bell for being the coolest principal out there. I’d like to thank the superintendents and administrators for all you do for the district. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you all. I’d like to thank Mr. Siragusa only because he told me he’d be mad if I didn’t mention him in my speech. Just kidding, I am actually thanking him for the countless favors I asked of him throughout my four years here and for always reminding me when I need to chill out (aka always). I would like to thank my friends (all twelve of you) for standing by my side and making every day of my life more enjoyable. Kelly, I want to thank you especially for being my voice of reason for as long as I can remember. I don’t know how I survived the first 8 months of my life without you. I’d like to thank Kyle, for embracing my many quirks and keeping me calm when I feel overwhelmed. And most importantly, I’d like to say thank you to all of my family members who are here today. They are the people who kept me grounded throughout my life and to remind me that yes, my goals are achievable. I’d specifically like to thank my mom for waking me up every single day when I fall asleep on the floor doing my homework, for loving me unconditionally and, most importantly, for being the best role model out there. Thank you to my dad for reminding me that hard work will allow you to achieve your goals, and having the most amazing bond with me. And a big thank you to my sister, maria for teaching me times tables in kindergarten because maybe I wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for you. Lastly, thank you to everyone who has made my high school experience what it was, and helping me grow as a person.
This year, in biology, Mr. Seif put the question “what is life?” on the smartboard and opened up a classroom discussion about what each of us thought. Of course we all tried to come up with a biological explanation, but it had me thinking. We are all existing, obviously. Yet what is it like to be living? Anyone here who has taken a biology class has learned that organisms must perform basic life functions in order to exist. Life is so much more than that though. Living is not just going about your daily routines and doing the minimum to get by (although my sister might disagree with that one). Seif never fails to remind us that life is about bringing your energy and your light to others and always being willing to receive it. It is about never limiting yourself and recognizing that your success is not predetermined. It is created. Lastly it is about questioning the biggest mysteries of the universe. Some of the most inexplicable questions include, what’s inside a black hole? What happens when you die? Do aliens exist? Or, what would Mr. Bell look like with hair? I bet you just tried to picture it and you realized you can’t. Lastly, Mr. Seif reminds us that curiosity and imagination will open you up to the endless possibilities that the world has to offer. Anyway, my first lesson is to never stop living.
I’d assume that most of us here can say we have someone that we look up to, someone we aspire to be like. I have had many role models throughout my time here, at Centereach, but if I had to choose one, it would most definitely be Ms. Melfi. To start, she goes to the gym at 3 AM every morning. Let’s face it, I will never be that motivated but I like to set my goals high. Secondly, she comes to school with a smile on her face, no matter what, and focuses on spreading positivity to people, expecting nothing in return. One way she accomplishes this for her students is through her account on remind. For those of you who don’t know what remind is, it is an app where teachers and students can contact each other via text. Most teachers use it to remind students that the project they probably didn’t start has a due date that is approaching as fast as a freight train, or to tell them that the test they are having is actually tomorrow instead of next Tuesday. Ms. Melfi, on the other hand, uses it to uplift and destress her students. Her remind account is dedicated to sending simply one positive quote per day. That was particularly effective for me. As a kid when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was never “a pessimist”, so I’m not quite sure how I turned out this way. Given I have a naturally negative attitude, there have been many times where something in my life is not going well, but the remind pops up on my screen and instantly gives me the change in mindset that I need. Her quotes are always a gentle reminder that in moments of struggle, if you push through, you will grow stronger than you ever imagined. One of Ms. Melfi’s reminds was, “Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.” So, my second lesson is that success is rooted in positivity… see what I did there?
As I was trying to think about what my final lesson would be, I came to realize that by now some of you might be dozing off or dying of heat exhaustion, so I’ll keep this one pretty simple. No matter how many amazing teachers you have, you cannot learn unless you’re willing to. As graduating seniors, we have a willingness to accept different points of view (usually), a constant sense of discovery, and the idea that our options are limitless. That might make us naive, as adults love to remind us, but by taking complete advantage of what our naivety has to offer, we gain life experiences that ultimately bring us the wisdom that is so coveted. So, my third lesson is to find a lesson in every situation, no matter how small. Take your experiences and use them to your benefit. If you make a mistake, which we all do, recognize what you have done wrong and don’t repeat it. Even more importantly though, when you are successful in something, take notice of what you did right and continue to do it.
So, the seed I have been trying to plant here for about the last 6 minutes and 32 seconds is to live life, be positive, and never lose your sense of wonder, even when you are old and wise.
Congratulations to us, the Centereach High School Class of 2017!