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Levittown high schools hold back-to-back graduations

Gen. Douglas MacArthur High School graduates celebrate as

Gen. Douglas MacArthur High School graduates celebrate as the commencement ceremony ends June 21, 2014, at a Hofstra University venue. Photo Credit: Michael Cusanelli

Levittown's Division Avenue High School and Gen. Douglas MacArthur High School held back-to-back graduations on June 21 at Hofstra. Hundreds of diplomas were handed out, and many different paths will now be navigated by the new alumni. Here are a couple:

MacArthur

While some Long Islanders soaked up the sun this weekend, Andrew Spinelli and his classmates celebrated the end of their high school careers and the start of a new chapter in their lives.

For Spinelli, General Douglas MacArthur High School’s class president, graduation meant saying goodbye to friends and teachers he had learned so much from over the past four years.

Now he is off to Yale University.

“I’m just going to miss knowing everyone, all the kids that grew up here,” said Spinelli, 18. “All the teachers and people of influence in my life have meant so much over the past four years.”

In September, Spinelli will be the only student out of the 2014 graduating class of 349 students to attend the prestigious Ivy League school, where he plans on pursuing a degree in either electrical engineering or economics.

Other members of the class of 2014 will be joining the military, heading into the workforce, or pursuing degrees of their own.

“They've always been a very different group of personalities that have grown over the past four years,” said Kathleen Valentino, the school’s principal. “They have tremendous energy."

Division

Childhood best friends Arthur Bain and Steven Anzalone always knew that they wanted to join the armed forces. And this weekend, as the duo received their diplomas along with more than 250 other Division Avenue High School students at Hofstra University, both of them were one step closer to realizing their lifelong dreams.

“We knew each other our whole lives and now we’re going into the military together,” said Bain, 18, of Levittown, who is joining the Marine Corps in September.

Anzalone, who will be shipping off to the Navy in December, was equally excited to experience the next chapter of his life after high school.

“I [just] want to learn,” said Anzalone, 18. “I want to travel the world.”

The two friends have known each other since they were in grade school, and grew up only a few blocks from each other in Levittown. Bain will be leaving for training in September at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, with Anzalone shipping out to Michigan for training in December. But before they begin their training, Bain says he and Anzalone plan to spend the summer hanging out with their friends and families and preparing for the hard work ahead of them.

“I’m feeling pretty excited,” Bain said. “I’m ready to move on in life.”

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