The Earl L. Vandermeulen High School Class of 2022 received their diplomas during the 128th annual commencement exercises on June 24. A beautiful evening with the traditional Color Guard presented by members of the Port Jefferson Fire Department served as the backdrop for the ceremony. Parents, siblings, friends, teachers, administrators and Board of Education members lauded the most recent alumni of the school district. Principal Eric Haruthunian welcomed those in attendance and valedictorian and Student Organization vice president William Wu led in the Pledge of Allegiance. They were followed by the national anthem performed by the high school band under the direction of music teacher Christine Creighton and congratulatory words from Student Organization President Alexandra Carlson.
Salutatorian Hugo Onghai recited from Carl Sagan’s famed book, “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space” and related it to graduating in 2022 and savoring every moment to come. Hugo shared appreciation for and thanks to many of the high school teachers as well as his fellow graduates. Hugo was followed by parent speaker Lisa Scannell (mom to Michael Scannell) who offered appreciation for her three children receiving their primary education in the Port Jefferson School District.
Superintendent of Schools Jessica Schmettan took the podium to thank and congratulate each student and the special partnership of families in creating a great education for the students. Mrs. Schmettan quoted from the lyrics of “A Million Dreams,” from the film “The Greatest Showman” to encourage the students to continue to pursue their dreams. Class President Luci DeWitt presented the traditional class gift, a scholarship that will be presented to a student from the Class of 2028, in memory of student Aida Ramonez, to honor her life and her impact on the school community.
Wu took the stage and jokingly introduced himself as a man of few words and promptly left the podium, only to be summoned back by Principal Haruthunian and many laughs from those in attendance. William shared memories with his fellow classmates and words of powering through and overcoming the obstacles of the past few years.
Mr. Haruthunian then presented the Class of 2022 to Superintendent Schmettan and Board of Education president Ellen Boehm. Each student walked to the podium for their diploma while Mr. Haruthunian highlighted their personal achievements and postgraduation plans.
Date Added: 6/27/2022