“Pomp and Circumstance” played in the background as seniors marched onto the field of the Frank Saracino Sports Complex Sunday.
Following the traditional American flag salute, which was accompanied by a senior sign language class’ translation, senior Sarah Shaiman sang the National Anthem. The Senior Chorus performed Clarke’s “Alma Mater”, before this year’s Salutatorian, Gouri Sadananda, delivered her speech.
“We are now forced out of our comfort zone and leave Clarke,” Sadananda said. “As high school ends, we most remember the people who contributed to our memories. I want you to remember that every moment is only what you make of it. Everyone can do something extraordinary.”
Classmates applauded, and the second speaker, Valedictorian Japbani Nanda, stepped up to the podium.
“I see distinctive individuals with dreams,” Nanda said. “Most of us have grown up together since elementary school. Clarke has been our second home. High School has been one round of Monopoly, but we have many more to go.”
Class President Connor Donnelly had more encouraging words for his peers.
“Our experience at Clarke has molded us into the young men and women we are today,” he said. “Our dreams have been affected by our daily experiences at Clarke. When we return to Clarke for the reunion, I have no doubt that many leaders will be among us.”
Superintendent Louis DeAngelo addressed the “soon-to-be graduates,” reflecting on his own educational experiences and urging the students to remember that in the world outside Clarke “all people deserve respect.”
DeAngelo concluded, “Congratulations, class of 2012 — we know that you will make us proud.”
Clarke’s Principal Timothy Voels presented the senior class as Board of Education President Joseph Parisi awarded the diplomas. Parents and friends cheered from the bleachers.
“I ask the Class of 2012 to please rise,” Voels said. “I now pronounce you graduates.”
Caps flew, graduates hugged one another and filed off the field.
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