Marlboro honors the Class of 2024

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 7/3/24

Last week the Marlboro Central School District held its 88th Commencement Ceremony to honor 154 students that made up the Class of 2024. The class processed out onto the football field to the music …

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Marlboro honors the Class of 2024

Last week the Marlboro Central School District held its 88th Commencement Ceremony to honor 154 students that made up the Class of 2024. The class processed out onto the football field to the music of Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance.
Class President Fallon Carolyn Grace led in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by National Anthem sung by the Marlboro High School Select Chorus.
Marlboro Superintendent Michael Rydell said it is an honor to open the ceremony, starting off by saying he is “proud of being your Superintendent and honored and proud of being the smallest of slivers in each of your lives.” 
Rydell noted that the Class of 2024, “has written an incredible story on the things you have done and all that you have accomplished is almost beyond words.” He cited data that reveals an impressive record of the Class of 2024: more than 1,900 college credits have been earned by this class and 23 have earned 30 or more credits; 8 have earned 45 or more college credits and will enter college as a 2nd semester sophomores; Alex McAteer, Elizabeth Koenig, Emersyn Lazar, Audrey Lee all have .5 college credits; Claire Devine, Deni Menendez 46 credits; Matthew D’Angelo, 50 credits; Aiden Gattuso, 52 credits; 46 students attended career and technical programs while in high school, 22 have earned the Seal of Civic Readiness, 12 earned the NYS Seal of Biliteracy; 47 are in the National Honor Society, 21 are in the Spanish National Honor Society and this class has a National Merit Scholarship finalist in Thomas Rusk. There are 4 area All State Musicians, an Eagle Scout and 5 Girl Scout Golden Award recipients. Rydell noted that basketball player Hannah Polumbo entered high school with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds; Softball player Kalista Birkenstock with 100 hits, 100 runs and 100 stolen bases and pitcher Leah Gunsett with 400 career strike outs. 
Rydell said the Class of 2024 is responsible for a large number of championships, art and photography awards, breaking 11 school athletic records and wining three New York State Championships.
“You are a remarkable class indeed for the enduring impact and model you have provided. I commend each of you for your heart and for the story you have written. Congratulations the Class of 2024, all the best.”   
Board of Education President Frank Milazzo said for the past 13 years the Class of 2024, “has worked hard to achieve and surpass many goals. Every person, friend, family and relative is proud of your accomplishments and of the goals that you have reached,” he said.   
Milazzo concluded with a quote from former President Ronald Reagan: “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit and no barriers to our progress, except those we ourselves erect.”
Congratulations and remember you are the future of this great nation.”
English Teacher and Chair of the Department, Christopher Dileo, offered the graduates a few parting words. He said he deeply cares about each and every graduate. He stressed that “what matters in this world, what matters in this life is not money or fame, fancy cars or good test scores or what college you attend or what career you spend you life doing; what matters are the relationships you have with people. I genuinely means this.” 
Dileo said that although ephemeral things and dreams may pass, “but authenticity, connection, kindness, human relationships – this is what matters. Cultivate good relationships and they will change your life.”
Dileo urged the graduates to stand up for their beliefs, be brave, resist conformity, be wary of anyone in authority, practice empathy, be moral, show gratitude and be human. 
Salutatorian Sophia Emilia Montalbano described a difficult coach she once had but came to understand that the experience made her the person she is today and taught her how to live for herself.
“We need obstacles in our path to push us to change and become better people. These changes don’t have to be life-altering; it can be as simple as learning how to be more patient or gaining compassion for others,” she said. “On the flip side, we also need people who can help us and a supportive network of friends and family.” 
Montalbano urged her fellow graduates to take an active role in their lives.
“Determine your own path, choose opportunities that you want to take and push yourself in what you believe is the right direction,” she said.   
Valedictorian Kahlan R. Moran started by thanking the Class of 2024 and her friends, saying, “One of the most important things you can do in life is to try to connect with different people. Not only does it open up whole new worlds of experiences and perspectives, but it is also a lot of fun.”
Moran concluded by thanking her class, “for being incredible people. You made me laugh every day of my life. I couldn’t have done this without you.”
Principal Ryan Lawler conducted the school’s traditional Cane Ceremony, with outgoing Senior class President Fallon Grace passing her 2024 black and orange class tassel off to Junior class President Amelia Casella.
Ryan told the Class of 2024 that, “you are poised to enter further study and the workforce equipped with the knowledge that you can and have succeeded in a rigorous program. The combination of a supportive home, your hard work and dedication and our amazing staff who have guided and cared for you has resulted in your success. Moving forward, continue to put your all into everything, continue to work well with others whether they be your teachers, mentors, peers or loved ones.” 
Lawler said graduation marks the end of high school and a new chapter in their lives. 
“After tonight’s commencement you will go separate ways and you have reached escape velocity from your Marlboro orbit. Be confident in yourself, lean on others for help and whether your new beginning is close to home or far away, realize it will take you time to succeed in your new surroundings but you are writing the next chapter in your life. Apply what you learned here and expand your knowledge, value others and be kind and think about those who mean the most to you. In time you will each find fulfillment in your families, friendships and careers. Please know your community and school are proud of you, proud to call you Marlboro High School graduates and this is always your home.”
Superintendent Rydell formally accepted the Class of 2024, followed by the presentation of diplomas by Principal Lawler. The Alma Mater concluded the 2024 graduation ceremony.