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Suffolk County’s Class of 2017 Valedictorians Honored

School district superintendents, administrators and parents honored Suffolk County’s highest achieving students from the Class of 2017 during the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association’s 23rd annual Valedictorian Luncheon, held at the Hyatt Regency Wind Watch Hotel in Hauppauge on June 1.

The celebratory event was punctuated with music provided by Middle Country School District’s Centereach High School Jazz Ensemble, under the baton of Lee Schaarschmidt.

Congratulating the students on their hard work and achievements were Dr. Ken Bossert, SCSSA vice president and Elwood School District superintendent of schools; Eva J. Demyen, SCSSA treasurer and Deer Park School District superintendent of schools; Lars Clemensen, SCSSA president-elect and Hampton Bays School District superintendent of schools; and Dr. Charles T. Russo, SCSSA president and East Moriches School District superintendent of schools.

During his keynote address, former North Fork Bank president John Kanas suggested that success not only requires individuals to hold onto their integrity, but to be empathetic, intuitive, creative, passionate, observers, good listeners, persuasive, responsible, kind and honest. He also urged the students to step forward to make a better democracy.

“There is no core curriculum in life [to become successful],” Kanas said. “It’s all an elective and up to you.”

Each valedictorian was called to the stage to receive a certificate and gift of recognition. During their individual acknowledgments, the universities they plan to attend were announced, along with their intended majors. The impressive and prestigious list of schools included American University, Cornell University, Duke University, Fordham University, Georgetown University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Stony Brook University Honors College. The SCSSA and its corporate sponsors also awarded 12 scholarships to graduates planning to pursue a career in education or social services.

Click here to view the slideshow

Click here to view a video by FIOS1 of the event