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Rapping valedictorian gives final farewell

From left: Patchogue-Medford High School graduates Saad Amer,

From left: Patchogue-Medford High School graduates Saad Amer, salutatorian Matthew Boose and valedictorian Hanna Lazio with their diplomas. (June 23, 2012) Credit: Ursula Moore

Valedictorian Hanna Lazio gave the Patchogue-Medford High School graduating Class of 2012 a speech to remember:

“Rap isn’t always bad.
Listen to what I tell ya.
I don’t even need a beat.
I can rap acapella.
Thank you to all for the education.
And to the class of 2012 – congratulations.”

“I didn’t want to give a boring valedictorian speech and rap is fun,” said Lazio, 17, of Patchogue.

The graduating class of 600 students couldn’t have been more thrilled with Lazio’s originality. Lazio also expressed how proud she was of her graduating class and thanked her supportive teachers and family members during her speech.

Lazio who earned a 102.4 GPA admitted that Saturday’s ceremony left her nervous, but in a good way.

“I am very excited about graduating but it didn’t hit me until this morning that this is the last time I will be walking the halls as a high school student,” said Lazio.

Lazio will attend Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa. in the fall and plans to major in nursing. She aspires to be a nurse anesthetist.

Salutatorian Matthew Boose, 18, of Patchogue earned a 102.3 GPA and said that  life will be arduous, but added that it is always good to think outside the box because the outcome may bring interesting results.

“When life gives you lemons, make orange juice and have everyone wondering how in the world you made orange juice from lemons,” said Boose, who will attend Binghamton University to major in computer engineering.

Principal Dr. Randy Rusielewicz praised the students for their academic accomplishments and encouraged them to face life’s ups and downs.

“You will be faced with life’s challenges and that’s OK because you are the author for your book of life. You can all find the chapter for your happily ever after,” said Rusielewicz.

Class president Christian Dounelis, 18, of Medford, plans to stay in contact with the many friends he made during high school.

“I enjoyed my four years here because I learned a lot and made a lot of great friends. I got my Facebook swag and I will stay connected,” said Dounelis, 18, of Medford, who will attend Suffolk Community College.

Harvard-bound essayist Saad Amer, 18, of Medford was most excited and eager to further his education.

“For me, rather than graduating meaning the end, it’s the beginning,” Amer said. “This commencement symbolizes my growth and the start of me of me going on to greater things.”

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