On June 26, the Class of 2020 officially became alumni of Westhampton Beach High School during five separate ceremonies held on the school’s football field.
The graduation ceremonies kept as much to Hurricane tradition as possible despite gathering limitations due to COVID-19.
Wearing smiles through their masks, small groups of seniors lined up to march to “Pomp and Circumstance” as family members looked on from the stands.
The students were recognized for countless achievements in academics, athletics, science, the performing and fine arts, volunteerism, entrepreneurial endeavors, activism and humanitarian efforts.
During each ceremony, speakers including Principal Dr. Christopher Herr, student representatives, valedictorian Kay Horak and salutatorian Kathleen Kelly spoke of the great accomplishments of the Class of 2020 and their future.
“You will forever represent this community,” Dr. Herr said. “Go out and be leaders, make a difference, be good humans who care for your neighbors. And in a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
Senior class poet John Paul Ferrantino read a poem he composed, “The Sapling,” while class historian Jacob Croce spoke about memory-making events and offered, “We are all capable of doing great things. We can go anywhere.”
Salutatorian Kelly followed, saying that she enjoyed her time in Westhampton Beach and it is now time to enter a new chapter. “The last 18 years have prepared us well,” she remarked. “You have the power to generate change.” Valedictorian Horak also spoke about the lessons she learned at Westhampton Beach. Referencing the last several months and the impacts of COVID, she said, “Know your darker days do not define you. Channel heavy feelings to change the world.”
Before sending them off, Dr. Herr highlighted the accomplishments of the graduating class, noting that among them were 87 seniors graduating with an average of 90 or higher, 31 with an average of 95 or higher, eight National Merit Commended Students, one National Merit Scholar, two Girl Scout Gold Award recipients and five Boy Scout Eagle Scouts.