June 29, 2011 —
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Words of wisdom, encouragement and pride were spoken Saturday morning, while the Sullivan West Class of 2011 listened to speeches before receiving their diplomas.
Lynnette Lacek, the salutatorian of the first class to complete seventh through 12th grades in the Sullivan West High School, spoke of what the students “survived” while attending the school. The early mornings and difficult classes taught the students “the significance of determination, diligence and most importantly optimism,” Lacek said. With the help and support from teachers Lacek said, “Our class is notorious for our overbearing pride, on the court, on the field and in the gym.” She told of the victories the class had accumulated and through their time as classmates what they had taught each other, “the importance of believing in achievement, and believing in each other.” Lacek called the class of 2011, “the most impressive class to ever leave Sullivan West.”
Valedictorian Justin Zaccari said it was important for his classmates to be “well-rounded” because it is essential for people to know and experience a little bit of everything in life. The students would do this, by keeping up on current events and being involved in their communities. Adding humor to his speech, Zaccari cited a few of the teachers and attributes they were known for. Social studies teacher, Patrick Donovan “taught me that D equals diploma, helped me realize the importance of having a sense of humor,” Zaccari said. While science teacher, Russ Johansen, “not only helped me understand physics, but made me a better driver by proving why driving is the government’s form of population control.”
Class president, Jillian Fife, spoke of all the faculty and staff at Sullivan West who helped the seniors through their high school careers and thanked them. Because of the supervision of the lunch ladies and cafeteria monitors during the students’ tenure at SW there were no food fights. The teachers taught the students, “Real life’s life lessons go far beyond the classroom walls.” Fife said a simple thank you was not enough to show the students gratitude to their families. As the class president, Fife presented the families with a set of embroidered table coverings with a custom design of the school name and the bull dog mascot.