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Yorktown High Students Graduate with Excitement

Daniel Fernandez stood still and waited patiently as his father primped and fixed his green graduation gown before graduation.

Fernandez was just one of over 300 Yorktown High School students who received their diplomas at the State University of New York at Purchase Saturday afternoon.

Prior to the ceremony, green and white graduation gowns and gaps were dabbled in-between proud parents and family. Students all agreed the moments leading up to graduation were excited but saying goodbye to high school was hard.

“It’s hard, I’m leaving all my friends behind,” Fernandez said.

Vicky Cullaro stood with two of her friends before the ceremony started and said the same thing.

“I’m going to miss all my teachers and the people in the class,” she said.

That sense of family and community is what makes this graduating class so unique, said Principal Joseph DeGennaro.

“They have left their mark on Yorktown High School and will leave their mark on the world,” DeGennaro said regarding the students who sat on the stage behind him. “Unique to the class of 2011 is a sense of family, as a student body and within each of the wonderful programs that Yorktown High School offers. Beyond our high school they are a unique family, volunteering to assist and support and give on so many levels to others in need.”

Outside of their high school family, the students are family oriented in their own homes as well DeGennaro said.

“They are extremely family oriented, continually demonstrating great character integrity and values by allowing and welcoming their own family to be an integral part of their high school life,” he said. “I applaud them for that, because that’s not typical of high school seniors.”

The high school students certainly wanted to celebrate their graduation, and didn't want to wait until the end of the ceremony. Several beach balls were tossed around by the students, and confetti was popped and peppered all over the graduating class.

Salutatorian Alex Trestyn gave the students a list of favorite high school memories, but left them with the message that despite not knowing what comes next they will meet success if they really try.

“This is a new beginning of a new chapter of life for you, where you will go off to become responsible members of society. And I also want to reject the previous statements due to how clichéd it is,” Trestyn said. “Nobody, not you, not your guidance counselor, or even that magic eight ball you keep on the corner of your desk knows what is truly in store for you…a great man once said you don’t become my great by trying to be great you become great by wanting to do something and becoming great in the process.”

Valedictorian Michelle Tomassi told the students the great things she had come to learn and know about her classmates and about Yorktown High School, and concluded that she knows the students are ready to take on what’s next.

“I know that Yorktown High School class of 2011, I know that my classmates are some of the most intelligent, creative, unique and hilarious people that I have ever met . I know that our class has had many experiences that made us stronger and have helped shape us into the distinct individuals that we are today,” Tomassi said. “I know that the although it may be hard to believe, but we have matured into adults and we are ready to continue our journeys into the world and the journeys within ourselves.”

Has your child graduated or moved up recently? Send us your photos and a message to jswift@thedailyyorktown. and we will post your proud photos on our site.

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