Be more than just a number or name on a roster.
That was principal Francesco Ianni’s message to his last graduating class from Division Avenue High School in Levittown. In all, 258 students graduated from Division Avenue at Hofstra University on Saturday, and their principal essentially graduated with them.
Ianni, who next school year will be an assistant superintendent in the Harborfields School District, told his class to be positive about their future.
“You have to believe that this is the beginning, not the end,” he said. “Stand and be heard, don't be content to just sit back and watch.”
Among the graduating class of 2013 was Ashley Stinnett, who is off to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. She says she will remember the times she spent with her friends, on student council where she was president, working a food drive to help superstorm Sandy victims and spirit night, when all the grades compete against each other.
“It brings all the grades together. We thought it was rigged for the seniors but we proved them wrong,” Stinnett said of the Class of 2013 winning as juniors and seniors. “I’m going to miss seeing everyone. I think that we’re all going to be so separated that we’re not going to catch up, ever.”
But Stinnett added that her initial thought is far from true, and that she hopes to stay in touch with her Division Avenue friends.
While also looking to the future, class salutatorian Sukhneet Sahota asked everyone to retain the fearlessness of youth while dealing with the challenge of figuring out what to do with their lives.
“I will fearlessly answer this question,” Sahota said. “You make the world what you want it to be.”