Amanda Sajewski, Isabel Hanson and Emily Silver after graduation ceremonies...

Amanda Sajewski, Isabel Hanson and Emily Silver after graduation ceremonies at Cold Spring Harbor High School. (June 10, 2012) Credit: Arielle Dollinger

On a stage filled with a sea of navy and white caps and gowns at the Cold Spring Harbor High School Field House Sunday, where 169 seniors were about to graduate, Teddy Gold, the school’s class president and National Honor Society president, presented principal Jay H. Matuk with a time capsule.

It was the school’s 49th commencement, and the gift commemorated its 50th anniversary.

And on this day, six students had the opportunity to reflect on their high school experiences over the past four years and “share their hopes and dreams for the future,” Principal Jay H. Matuk said.

Speaking to his fellow graduates, Gold said he saw “a stage full of opportunity.”

Class secretary Alexis Witkin spoke about the difference between “tolerance” and “acceptance.” Katie Paolano, vice president of the class, spoke about change and the idea that she and her fellow classmates have experienced many “lasts,” but are about to experience many “firsts.” Dartmouth-bound Evelyn Weinstein spoke about the community that she felt that she joined when she came to the school her sophomore year.

After a musical selection by the school’s vocal jazz ensemble, student Isabel Hanson spoke of the importance of curiosity, and reaching beyond the requirements of standard education to better oneself.

“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire,” Hanson said, reciting the W.B. Yeats quote displayed at the high school’s main entrance.

Board of education trustee Anthony Paolano offered this advice, quoting Henry David Thoreau: “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”


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