Westhampton Beach Superintendent Michael Radday offered the graduating Class of 2012 four pieces of advice.
Be the architect of your future and make each day your masterpiece.
Work hard and persevere.
Take time to stop and smell the roses.
And lastly, carpe diem.
“Make your lives extraordinary,” Radday said. “You have left your mark both individually and as a collective.”
On Sunday, Westhampton Beach High School graduated 226 students. Of those graduates, 66 earned an average grade point average of 90 or greater and 14 earned an average GPA of 95 or greater. The students were awarded more than $150,000 in scholarship money.
Community activist and former school board member Clint Greenbaum, whose daughter Augusta was salutatorian, urged graduates to appreciate the role their parents have played in their success. He told the graduates to remember that unexpected things happen in the “circle of life.”
“Whatever you do, wherever you go, don’t take advantage of your parents,” Greenbaum said.
Graduates have “no excuse not to talk to their parents everyday,” he added, getting a chuckle from the crowd.
Christi Dawydiak, 18, who will be attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall, read a poem that used the ocean and memories of summer to reflect on her four years at Westhampton Beach High School.
“Let these years linger like salt and sunscreen on a perpetual summer day,” she said.
Class historian Lexa Smith, who will be attending Boston College, highlighted some of the Class of 2012’s most memorable moments, from winning “Most Spirited” class at homecoming as freshmen to camping out on the football field before their last day of school this June.
“We’ve grown together and contributed to each others’ lives,” she said. “We’ll always have each other — the Class of 2012.”
Salutatorian Augusta Greenbaum, 17, told her fellow graduates not to be afraid to take risks, but to also be careful not to misinterpret the generational catch phrase “YOLO,” meaning “You Only Live Once.”
“It can draw teens into procrastination and Internet distraction,” she said. “But why would you want to take the easy way and live a mundane life? Why not live a life you’re proud of?”
Valedictorian Gabrielle Shea, who will be attending Wake Forest University on a full scholarship, urged graduates to use the study of history to help solve the problems of today.
“Do whatever you love to do, but do it in a way that benefits as many people as possible,” she said.