It’s Graduation Season in Rockland County

North Rockland High School holds 2012 commencement

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

North Rockland High School celebrated the graduation of its Senior Class of 2012, holding its annual commencement ceremony at Rockland Community College at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 22.

Hundreds of graduating seniors, their friends, and their families attended the ceremony. In total, 631 seniors graduated, including 176 with membership in one or more honor societies, 26 with college and university awards.

After a performance of the traditional graduation song “Pomp and Circumstance,” the Presentation of Colors, and the National Anthem, several speakers took the stage to congratulate and provide parting wisdom for the Class of 2012.

Class President Tracy Estevez spoke about the graduates’ valuable past experiences and their opportunities in the future.

“Today is the day we look toward the next step in our lives,” Estevez said. “To achieve all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible.”

Dr. Michael Gill, the principal of North Rockland High School, echoed Estevez’s optimism and confidence in the graduating seniors by encouraging their success.

“Remember that you have the knowledge to be successful and you can make it happen,” Gill said.

Following the speakers, Superintendent of Schools Ileana Eckert presented the Class of 2012 their diplomas. After the ceremony, the attendees chatted, snapped pictures, and congratulated members of the Class of 2012.

Recent graduates reflected upon past challenges as they expressed their enthusiasm toward their future college plans and professional careers. Rashon Johnson of Garnerville will be attending Morrisville College for criminal justice. In addition, he may try out for the football team at the college.

Amberlynn June of Stony Point said that she would be attending Long Island University in Brooklyn.

Fernando Acosta of Haverstraw said that he would be attending RCC to study criminal justice. “I’m planning on joining the FDNY in the city…and then maybe something on the side involving engineering,” Acosta said, regarding his future plans.

Frank Dowd expressed pride in his daughter Erin Dowd, who was ranked 32nd in the class and will be attending the University of Delaware.

Valerie Serao, mother of Julia Serao, wished the best for her daughter and other graduating seniors.

“I just want her to be happy,” Serao said. “I want her to love the thing she does and…to always feel successful and like she’s doing something with her life.”

Originally planned for 6 p.m. at North Rockland High School itself, the commencement was moved to RCC’s Fieldhouse when adverse weather required the school to change the time and location of the event.

As the ceremony concluded lightning struck a tree outside the RCC Fieldhouse.

Michael Riconda is an intern reporter and copy editor for the Rockland County Times