Standing on stage Tuesday night, looking out at the sea of green and white before her, Sara Golshahr was compelled to pull out her cellphone. Before delivering her salutatorian address at Farmingdale High School’s commencement ceremony, Golshahr, 18, snapped a photo of her graduating classmates, all 542 of them.
“This view is incredible,” Golshahr told the crowd gathered inside Hofstra University’s David S. Mack Sports Complex in Hempsted.
During her speech, Golshahr, who is bound for Drexel University in Philadelphia to study business and pre-med, gushed about her classmates’ accomplishments, the challenges they have overcome and the memories they made together.
“Today marks the last day of us being FHS students, but it marks the first day that we become Dalers forever,” she said.
“Daler pride” and the spirit of Farmingdale’s Class of 2013 was echoed throughout the speeches delivered Tuesday night.
In addition to listing many of the graduate’s achievements, Farmingdale High School principal Glen Zakian also spoke of how many of the students, proudly sporting their Daler jerseys, traveled to neighboring towns after superstorm Sandy to assist families in need.
“You were true Dalers,” he told the graduates. “As a class, you leave a legacy of success that will be difficult for any future class to surpass.”
Valedictorian Nakul Gupta, 17, reiterated this sentiment in his address, stating, “We blew previous senior classes out of the water.”
Having ripped up his written speech shortly after stepping up to the podium, Gupta delivered his commencement address from memory.
“I wanted my classmates to understand it’s important to take risks,” Gupta later explained.
Gupta is heading to Harvard University to study science, but he hasn’t decided what his major will be.
“This is the time to experience and explore,” he told his classmates. “Don’t settle for a job you don’t love.”
Class president Raymond Webb knows he wants to become a public servant and will double major in political science and public policy at SUNY’s University at Albany. He encouraged his fellow graduates to remain civically engaged.
“Remember to vote,” Webb, 18, said. “But if your only involvement in democracy is in a voting booth 10 minutes a year, then, that’s all the democracy you’re going to get.”
Wherever Webb’s career path takes him, he said, “My goal is to give back to Farmingdale, because it’s given so much to me.”