Between the heat and the thunderstorms, East Hampton High School’s 2012 commencement ceremony was held on Saturday in perfect weather, under a tent on the front lawn of the Long Lane location.
At 11 a.m. the graduates, in the requisite maroon robes, filed into the tent, led by the faculty and administrators, also in robes. Adam Fine, the school’s principal, was the first to take the podium and welcome “our guest of honor: the class of 2012.”
He described the graduates as “respectful, hard-working, and passionate” and referred to the “diverse student body.”
“We are Amagansett, East Hampton, Springs, Montauk, Sagaponack, and Wainscott,” he said to one of many outbursts of applause. Referring to the community service performed by the exiting seniors, Mr. Fine said, “This class clearly thinks more of others than of themselves.”
He stressed to the graduates that rather than focus on the tests they’ve taken over the past four years — “God knows you’ve taken enough of them” — they should instead concentrate on the “special moments” they have experienced during their high school years.
“Now go forward,” he urged. “And although we will always be here for you, don’t look back.” He paused. “But you can visit!”
“If you don’t listen to what is whispering to you, who will?” said Tania Uruchima, the class salutatorian. “Find your life’s worth, and don’t be afraid to let yourself grow,” she told her classmates.
“Four years ago we came to East Hampton High School as a segregated unit,” Cameron Yusko, the valedictorian, said. “Today we stand as one. The best is yet to come.”
As the students came up to receive their diplomas, each of them placed a string of beads around Mr. Fine’s neck, continuing a tradition of giving the principal a departing token of appreciation.
“We leave here today proud to be called Bonackers,” Cameron said.