Hicksville High School celebrates Class of 2022

Hicksville High School celebrates Class of 2022
Posted on 07/11/2022

Hicksville High School graduates made their way to the school’s athletic field on June 25 as “Pomp and Circumstance” echoed through the stadium. The commencement
ceremony kicked off with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Principal Raymond Williams was the first to welcome the Class of 2022, offering peace and thanks to all. He said it was his honor to be celebrating this milestone with
everyone in attendance. His welcome was followed by graduating senior Allison George’s rendition of the national anthem. 

After the national anthem, Principal Williams began his remarks, stressing the importance of gratitude. “Graduates, I want you to continually show gratitude for every
little thing you have. You have survived and powered through, and I reiterate, ‘powered through,’ the pandemic. You survived personal challenges this year, survived 10-day quarantines and survived full-day schooling. You are all seated here, and that means you are a champion. You are a survivor. As you charge forward in life after high school pause and give thanks for the small things … and you’ll find that things will change for you. Blessings and opportunities will flow into your life.”

His remarks highlighted the pride, respect, integrity, discipline and excellence shown by each of the graduates. He closed by encouraging the students to be strong but not rude, be kind but not weak, be humble but not shy, be proud but not arrogant.

“Be good to each other, Class of 2022,” he said. “Onwards and upwards.”

Other speakers included honored guest John Immerson, Hall of Fame recipient 2022; Board of Education secretary Sunita Manjrekar; Board of Education trustee Annette
Beiner; Class of 2022 valedictorian Sam Zhen and salutatorian Sean Zhen. Both students addressed their classmates directly, reminiscing about fond memories made together, and shared good wishes as they move forward in life.

Valedictorian Sam Zhen spoke fondly of his time at Hicksville High School, but mentioned their time wasn’t without challenges and uncertainties, particularly with the
pandemic. Zhen said life will be the same, and when this happens, “I want you to think of famous words by Hong Kong martial artist Bruce Lee: ‘Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water.’” He referenced how water is versatile, adaptable and flexible to any surface or anything, and said “water can flow or crash.” The valedictorian closed his speech by telling his peers, “Be water, my friends, when faced with any sense of uncertainties the future may bring.”

When Superintendent of Schools Marianne Litzman spoke, she began with a big welcome to the students to this open-air celebration. “Today you will walk through the
open door,” she said. “Yes, we are letting you free today! Yes, exit stage right and stage life.”

“Sometimes your path was hard and sometimes your road was easy,” she continued, “but you always remained true to self. True to your word with all. So, keep that truth
always. Always filled with hope. You maneuvered through a world pandemic with calm head and steady hand.”

She reminded them that if the wind should gust, bringing rain and snow, temperatures cold and warm, look back to Hicksville and those around them for an
encouraging word. “Hicksville will always be your home and we will always remember your name,” she said. “Keep that fire in your belly and go out and set this world on fire.”

After the speakers, the high point of the ceremony took place. Diplomas were presented to the Class of 2022, and each graduate received applause and cheers from
guests as their name was called.