As the starting time drew near, thunder rumbled above the sound of the drummers in the band, warming up to play their rendition of “Pomp and Circumstance.”
At 3 p.m. sharp, as if on cue, all the lights went out in the Tilles Center, the concert hall at the LIU Post campus in Brookville. The darkness was not, however, a theatrical way to welcome the soon-to-be Roslyn High School graduates to the auditorium; it was caused by a power failure.
While an emergency power supply soon restored a dim glow, the ceremony was delayed because the public address system was still down.
With the audience fanning themselves with their program booklets and a portable generator powering the sound system, the Roslyn Class of 2012 took the stage to receive their just dues, just an hour later than expected.
When it finally did happen, every single Roslyn High School senior who crossed the stage and walked off with diploma in hand, was headed down a common path: to college.
Of the 298 graduates, 92 percent are going on to four-year colleges, and 8 percent are going on to two-year schools, said Principal Kevin Scanlon.
“It has been one of the brightest groups we’ve ever had go through the school system,” he said. Scanlon is finishing his seventh and final year as principal at Roslyn, as he is leaving to become the assistant superintendent of educational services in the Three Village School District.
Scanlon praised his students not only for their success in the classroom, but for the impact they made in the community.
The Roslyn Class of 2012 accumulated 47,657 hours of service, which adds up to nearly 160 hours per student, according to the district's Community Relations office. Director Barry Edelson said the hours logged by this class were four times the minimum requirement set by the Roslyn Board of Education.
“Our kids, on average, always do much more than the minimum, but that is truly above and beyond even by the high standards set by the classes that came before them,” he said.
During his speech, valedictorian Daniel Pollack mused on philosophical queries regarding the quest for happiness, that were brought into light for him by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in the movie “The Bucket List.”
Wondering how he could live his life to the fullest, Pollack found a sense of resolution in words spoken by President Abraham Lincoln, which he quoted near the end of his speech:
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”