Graduates embrace change, look to future after Oceanside
Rockland — Embracing opportunities and forging a new venture in life was the message given to the 120 graduates at Oceanside High School East's Class of 2014 during commencement ceremonies June 10.
Living by the class motto of "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul," by William Ernest Henley, the Class of 2014 was led in to the gymnasium by Class Marshals John Ferguson and Tabbitha Johnston to listen to words of wisdom and reminded of the varied roads taken to get to this final night of their high school years.
Expect and embrace the unexpected was the message from Class President Tabbitha Johnston, who recalled the journey her classmates went through during the consolidation of Georges Valley High School and Rockland District High School.
"Little did we know we wouldn't graduate in black and orange or green and white, but together in blue and white," said Johnston.
Valedictorian Jacob Hyatt and Salutatorian Isabella Garver addressed their classmates with messages of opportunity and thankfulness.
"There is no existential GPS except the one you carry within yourself," said Hyatt. "You will figure it out."
"Don't let society shape you ... let yourself shape society," said Hyatt in closing.
Garver quoted Mark Twain, who once said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."
"I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace opportunities," said Garver.
"Strive to explore, dream, and discover," she said.
"Pomp and Circumstance" was played for one final time by Richard Walton, who is retiring this year after 35 years as vocal instructor in the school district.
Diplomas were awarded to the graduates by Principal Thomas Forti and guidance counselor Christopher Blackmon of Oceanside East.
Also assisting in the awarding of diplomas were Class Vice President Samantha Dienesch-Calamari and Karly Robinson, both members of the National Honor Society.
Of the seniors, 17 are members of the National Honor Society.
At the Inspiration Ceremony June 8, a grand total of $1,027,735 in scholarships and grants were awarded to members of the Class of 2014.
A link to more photographs will be added later to this story.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.