Hendrick Hudson High School 2019 Commencement
On Sunday, June 30, 2019, the Hendrick Hudson High School Class of 2019 held its Commencement Exercises at the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase.
Students entered the theater to “Pomp and Circumstance,” performed by members of the high school band and orchestra. Following Assistant Principal Anthony Giovinazzi’s welcome, Matthew Quarles performed the national anthem.
In his address to the Class of 2019, Principal James Mackin reflected on the importance of human connections in an increasingly digital world. He asked that the graduates take the time to interact with one another. “Technology cannot replace the impact of saying hello, a hug, or a simple touch on the shoulder,” he said. “Make sure that, as you approach the bridge between high school and the next phases of your life, you keep making positive connections with those you encounter.”
County Executive George Latimer was a guest speaker at the commencement, and he spoke about the importance of 21st century skills around technology and collaboration.
Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter pointed to the support of family and friends as a key to creating “great schools and outstanding graduates.” He implored students to “reach out to those who helped you along the way. Let them know how important their impact has been. How they helped shape you. That they steered you when you needed direction, and that they gave you sage advice when perhaps you weren't asking for it, but were nonetheless better off because you received it.”
In her address, Salutatorian Larisa Bushkin acknowledged that there may be some sadness about leaving high school, but “we must recognize the importance of being able to view the future with an optimistic tint.” She encouraged her classmates to work towards solutions in the future. “There are a lot of things that may be up to chance, but life gets better when you work to make it better.”
Valedictorian Katie Mahoney encouraged the graduates to recognize how much knowledge and wisdom their teachers have shared over the years. “These are people who truly believe in your potential, not just as students but as human beings,” she said. “I hope you take a moment to appreciate the world around you and the people in it and that you act with that appreciation in mind.”
Under the direction of Benjamin Acrish and Erica Denler, the high school band, orchestra and choral groups performed various pieces such as “Pomp and Circumstance,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “I’ll Always Remember You,” “Runnin’ Home to You,” the Hen Hud Alma Mater and “Anchors Aweigh.”