Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Bogota High School Class of 2020

16-June-2020
   On Monday-15- June the Bogota High School held a virtual Commencement Ceremony for the Senior Class of 2020. To view this video please go to:  https://livestream.com/dynamicproductionsusa/bogotagraduation
  The video started with the Seniors passing a candle to their fellow classmate as a show unity toward each other while being separated in real life and the hope for a brighter future from the events of this Spring.  Then High School Principal Kelly Foley DeCongelio welcome Family, Friend, and members of the Bogota Community to this years graduation. Principal DeCongelio  Said that the Borough of Bogota had finish their 125th Anniversary in 2019, and that the High School was first opened in 1924. The 77 Seniors marked the 93rd graduation class.  She then introduced Ms. Natalie Hardwick and  Ms.Lara Pena to lead the Flag Salute and Ms. Gabrielle Cintron to sing the Star Spangled Banner.  Then Superintendent of School Mr. Damian Kennedy addressed the Students.  He thanked them for making the needed adjustments to their final year. This type of dedication will allow them to face the chances with future obstacles. he also quoted from the poem “ The Bottom Line”  letting the Seniors know that everyone must choose their own destiny. And they must take control of their own life, and be the best version of themselves at all times.  
 The next speaker was Salutatorian  Ms.Lara Pena. Ms Pena started by talking about how plans for the future can be forced to change without warning.  By not having the Graduation everyone accepted their strength has been tested. She then thanked her Parents , and that her family coming from an immigrant background, she her how hard work  has given her a chance at a better life to succeed in. Ms Pena  also thanked the teachers and Staff at the High School for their support over he High School years. Part of this support was that even after a failure she was encouraged to”Fail Forward” and learn from mistakes and continue to improve. While the end of this Senior year  maybe just is just a bump in the road, this can be the  opportunity to show how the lessons learn at Bogota that will help them find their exciting lives that are ahead.  She wants to leave a note for the future live of her Classmates asking them to make each other proud by being a member of the Class of 2020.
  The Vice Principal Dr. Erick Alfonso introduced the Bogota High Jazz Band as they preformed “Bridge Over troubled Waters”
    This was followed by Principal DeCongelio introducing this years Keynote Speaker Mr. Patrick Sullivan BHS ‘90. Mr. Sullivan was the first Bogota Student Athlete  to have his number retired after being named an All American in Basketball in his Senior Year. He would then continue at North Carolina University and apart of their 1993 NCAA National Championship. Mr. Sullivan move to the Coaching ranks in professional Basketball, and is now an assistant Coach for the New York Knicks. He congratulated the Class of 2020 and wanted to focus on them. Mr. Sullivan then asked the Seniors to recognize the knowledge, intellect and grit they have found in themselves. While he, and everyone, have missed many moments they have been planning for, some of the smaller moments that may have happen are also as important. One final chance to walk the halls, share laughs with friends, or saying that on final goodbye are also valuable memories that will be missed. But the times over the first three and 3/4 years of High School will now become even more cherished.  The Seniors of 2020  need to remember all of this as they write their own story in the future. 
  Then Valedictorian Ms. Natalie Hardwick gave her address. Ms. Hardwick’s speech was a reflex of the current situation. Instead of standing on stage talking across Fiegel Field, or in Speary Gym she was sitting down staring into a camera lens. This is part of how Bogota Student are adaptable and pick the piece of what should have been and work then together for what is happen now.  With mentioning this class has become adults in some of the most rapidly changing time. though of now being Adults seems to have happen so quickly that “ It was just last week they put on the Yellow Shirts for the very first.” Now that her and her classmate have learned to drive and can now vote is surprising..” Wear your Seat belts.” A class that has had to go through Active Shooter drill,  potential bomb threat, and now a pandemic and joke about it makes this class not foolish but unstoppable. Ms. Hardwick then offer a toast the Class of 2020, for the share experience of being a Student at Bogota High School.
   The next musical performance was the song “Youth” sung by Ms. Gabrielle Cintron.
   Principal DeCongelio then talked to the Seniors to remember the times together, friend made, times shared, and experiences to last forever and nor focus on what was missed.  This was followed by  Principal DeCongelio presented the Seniors of the Bogota Class of 2020 to School Board President  Ms. Lisa Kohles for his approval. With this acceptance, the Women and Men were awarded their Diploma  Principal DeCongelio proudly present the Graduating Class of 2020 from Bogota High School with each Senior having their own time on the screen.  Then the Ephebic Oath was read by six of the graduates taking turns. This was followed by the presentation of the Class gift. This year a bench inscribed “ Even through the darkness, they found light” that  will be place in the back courtyard by the class mural was announced by Co-Presidents  Ms. Griselys Lopez and Ms. Carly Nunez. After Ms. Gabrielle Cintron sang the Alma Matter a group screen view showed the Graduate moving their tassel to the left followed by a virtual cap toss. The video ended with a montage of photos of the Class of 2020.

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