ELMSFORD, N.Y. – Inside the Westchester Broadway Theater, Elmsford High School seniors celebrated a milestone and closed one more chapter in their lives.
Dozens of friends, family and classmates crowded the seats in the dimly lit auditorium Wednesday evening to watch members of the Class of 2012 accept their diplomas. Board of Education President Matthew Evans told the 74 graduating students that change was inevitable and challenged them to make a difference as they leave the Alexander Hamilton High School hallways.
“Do not settle for mediocrity,” he said. “Every single time someone tells your you can’t, you stare right back at them and say ‘watch me.’”
Parents cheered and applauded as seniors were presented their diplomas and students listened as their classmates gave their final thoughts. Seniors who spoke talked about unity and the cohesiveness of the class.
They also talked about what the future may bring as they go their separate ways. Some of the students will be headed off to college in the fall, others will enter the work force and still others will begin a tour of duty serving the country, but they all looked forward to the opportunities that await, Salutatorian Kavitha Mathew said.
“We have been given great opportunities,” she said. “And we have had many people hold our hands along the way and they gently let go as we grew. It is now our turn to metaphorically hold hands with the next generation and give back as we progress through the next stages of our lives.”
Valedictorian Shannon Coombs talked about the sacrifices that have been made for each student to be sitting where they were and spoke about the American dream.
“For many families, seeing their children and grandchildren on this stage, in caps and gowns, is a true symbol of the achievement of the American dream,” she said. “This day is a fulfillment of the promise that one can become successful with hard work and the grace of God.”