PURCHASE, N.Y. – Casey Zhang believes that you can improve all situations just by keeping a positive outlook, a life philosophy he shared with his Yorktown High School classmates during his salutatory speech at SUNY Purchase Saturday afternoon.
Zhang told his classmates to try to follow his philosophy in the face of disapointments, challenges and adversity.
“Now as we are about the graduate high school and move onto college and probably face new challenges in the process, we must continue to proceed with a positive attitude,” he said.
The salutatorian harkened back to the simpler times when, “the biggest thing we had to worry about was whether we were inside or outside for recess.”
From his math teacher hurling a kickball at his head at, “80 miles per hour,” to guessing whether or not Punxsutawney Phil would see his shadow, Zhang has many memories from his formative years in Yorktown. Fast forwarding to the class of 2014’s high school years, the 342 students collectively gave more than 20,000 hours of community service before their senior year.
Additionally, the boys’ varsity lacrosse team won the state championship, and its volleyball, bowling, baseball, softball, boys and girls ski teams and golf team all won league championships.
Furthermore, all 19 seniors who participated in the science research program received awards at the county-wide science fair, including three who were invited to present at the national professional symposium in Texas. Another two were invited to present at the international level in California and three more were invited to participate in competitions at the state level, said School Superintendent Ralph Napolitano.
“Parents and colleagues please acknowledge this unbelievable group of young people who have distinguished themselves in music, service to their community and athletics this school year,” he said.