Thirty six years after his own graduation, William Pedraita had the honor of putting on a gown Saturday morning and taking the short walk from St. Dominic High School to the church for the second time.
This time he was leading his son, Nicolas, and his 113 classmates on their last walk down Anstice Street to the St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church in Oyster Bay for the school’s 81st commencement ceremony.
“I was excited somebody was going to school here out of my three kids and he has made me so proud,” Pedraita of Glen Cove said about his son who will be attending Molloy College for accounting. “I’m also glad to see the school is in good hands with Principal Smith.”
Pedraita and Margaret Mary Nicholas were selected to be marshals for the ceremony because they were both alumni who had children graduating.
The commencement’s guest speaker, Sister Mary Hughes, also added to the connection of the past and present as she is a 1964 graduate of St. Dominic.
“It’s beautiful to see the growth that is here,” Hughes said. “There is so much that is now here that wasn’t when I was a student.”
Valedictorian Pamela Hickey of Huntington is one of the students who took advantage of that growth. She talked about being inspired by her biology teacher, Stacie Langhouser, who received the Outstanding Christian Educator of the Year award by the school during the ceremony.
“I never thought about science until I took Ms. Langhouser’s class in sophomore year,” said Hickey who will be attending Boston College in the fall. “I just knew I wanted to go into biology.”
“I realized my love for math and business by being a part of Future Business Leaders of America,” the aspiring CFO said. “Looking back, I’m going to miss the sense of community and school spirit.”