Hendrick Hudson High School Celebrates 2022 Commencement
When they tossed their blue and white caps in the air at the conclusion of their commencement ceremony on Friday, June 17, members of Hendrick Hudson High School’s Class of 2022 began a new phase in their young lives.
The ceremony, held on the high school football field, included musical performances by The Treble Makers, the Senior Singers and members of the HHHS band and orchestra. The high school’s Alma Mater was performed by students Sabrina Antman, Isabella DeBenedictis, Sarah Mason, Raniah Quinto and Sophia Sklar.
Fittingly, a Hen Hud graduate presented the keynote address. Dylan Gambardella, class of 2014, returned to the high school as the CEO and co-founder of Next Gen HQ, a business that supports entrepreneurship and leadership in the next generation. He urged the graduates to “just get started” on working toward their goals and not let the fear of making a wrong decision keep them from moving ahead.
Kivel talked about appreciating the “imperfectness of life,” the importance of “surrounding yourself with people who make your heart feel full” and recognizing that “no one around you is expecting perfection.”
Mistry described how, for him, the pandemic was a catalyst for shifting priorities in order to achieve a better life balance. He encouraged his peers to “chase happiness” rather than success alone and to surround themselves with people they can grow with. “Life is what you make of it, not what it makes of you,” he reminded his classmates.
Principal James Mackin, Board of Education President Carol Abraham, and Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter each stepped up to address the graduates.
Mackin offered the students some simple suggestions around the theme of accountability. “Be honest,” he said. “And if you make a mistake, say you are sorry.”
“Your high school years certainly have been unique,” said Abraham to the graduating seniors. Noting how the challenges of the past few years will continue to shape them, she urged the students to “take the time and space you need to discover who you are and who you want to be.”
Hochreiter thanked district families for “sticking with us through the most difficult time in the history of public education.” Reflecting on how the pandemic had impacted the last few years of high school, he urged the graduating students assembled behind him not to let what they lost define them. “Instead,” he said, “celebrate how you got here.”