Hastings High School
Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District
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Hastings High School Class of 2022, Poised for a New Chapter
It was a warm and misty evening as families gathered on an open field of green on June 23 to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2022.
The graduation ceremony for Hastings High School seniors, held at Burke Estate's Thomas J. Fazio Field began with a processional medley.
Cloaked in emerald green caps and gowns that matched their surroundings, the smiling graduates, with heads held high, marched on to the field to the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance" played by their classmates in the High School Band and Orchestra. With perfect timing, the mist cleared as the Class of 2022 took their seats.
The commencement program that followed included a performance of the "Star Bangled Banner" by the Hastings High School Chorus, for the last time, "The Pledge of Allegiance" facilitated by seniors Stella Stephens and Joshua Thigpen, and inspirational speeches and congratulatory remarks from Hastings High School Principal Louis Adipietro, Class President Liam Shanley, Guest Speaker Lee Kaiser, Salutatorian Lily Safire, Valedictorian Bluebell Ward, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. William McKersie.
Perseverance and triumph over adversity, a continued quest for knowledge, and the love of self, family and friends, were the overarching themes, as administrators and student leaders commended the graduating class for overcoming two of the most challenging years in our nation's history.
"Tonight, you are poised to start a new chapter. It is a time in history where the challenges are great but the opportunities being created by those challenges are even greater," said Adipietro.
"Care about yourself, your family, and your friends, and of course, care about our world. Wherever life takes you, make sure it includes some joy."
Class President Shanley also addressed the challenges, current and awaiting the graduates, noting the "sheer willpower" of his fellow students and how that alone, would be enough to get them through.
Continuing towards the presentation of awards, guest speaker Kaiser spoke of personal experiences when he addressed the students, advising them that,
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react it. You determine your future."
Kaiser, a Hastings High School alumnus, served Farfax County Public Schools for over 28 years as an elementary school teacher and counselor. Currently, he is a school counselor at Centreville Elementary school in Centreville, Virginia.
A few of his honors and awards include Hastings High School's Hall of Excellence, National Life Group's "Life Changer of the Year" Award, and Fairfax County Public School's "School Counselor of the Year."
Moving through the program, Valedictorian Ward touched on the "unintentionally meaningful snapshots" that formed a collage of memories of the four years of high school, and Salutatorian, Saffire, talked about "the end" of a chapter, encouraging her classmates to "start a new volume or maybe a whole new series altogether."
"I am grateful we can all have this final milestone together," said Ward.
Superintendent of Schools McKersie rounded out the program's remarks, and, inspired by all that he heard, steered away from his planned speech to share two key takeaways.
"First, hold the door open," McKersie said. "Second, find peace, make peace, embrace peace, and lead for peace."
For the full measure of the ceremony's magic, watch a celebratory video created by Jackie Saviano, our new Communication's Specialist.
Click here to view the formal commencement program.
And, on behalf of the entire Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District Community, congratulations to the Class of 2022!