By Mary Maselli
The sanctuary of Smithtown Christian School was brimming with proud friends and family, on June 20, 2015 at 10 am.
The Commencement Ceremony for this year’s graduating class began with the traditional procession of students, along to “Pomp and Circumstance.”
As a body, the room recited the pledges to the American flag, Christian flag, and the Bible. Seniors Kevin Erdvig, Giordano D’Ulisse, and Christi Clinton led the pledges.
The Promise Singers, vocal ensemble, performed together a final time singing “God Bless America” with excellence.
Each senior class at SCS has two elected chaplains. This year’s chaplains are Benjamin Damon and Rebecca Giancana. Giancana shared from Psalm 16:6, declaring that Christian education has not been a hindrance, rather “we have the best advantage.” Damon, then, said a prayer over the ceremony and the graduating class.
Reverend Ruben Cruzate, father of graduate Jonathan Cruzate, performed the invocation. He shared his hopes for this class, and delivered powerful words of encouragement.
Reverend Gary Zarlengo, Senior Pastor at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle then shared a formal greeting. Smithtown Christian School is a ministry of Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle.
He shared from Proverbs 4:18, encouraging “When you look up… he will always make sure the lights go on. Always look up.”
Salutatorian Leah deNyse thanked all those who have significantly impacted her life in the Salutatorian Address.
She challenged her classmates, “It is not your job to know; it is your job to do.” She used Romans 8:37’s “We are more than conquerors…” to encourage the class to succeed.
After the Salutatorian Address, SCS Superintendent, Reverend Roger Erdvig, gave the recognitions and introduction.
Then, Rev. Patrick McCarty delivered a message. Rev. McCarty is not only a pastor, but he is also the father of Joshua McCarty, a member of the graduating class. He shared from James 14 and Joshua 1:9.
His final words of encouragement were, “do not focus on a life that has you at the center of it.” God should be the center of all things.
After Rev. McCarty’s words, Mr. Buttacy (SCS Secondary Principal) declared the presentation of the Class of 2015.
Rev. Roger Erdvig and Mr. Lawrence “Larry” Anderson presented the diplomas to each senior, as families and friends looked on with pride.
Once every graduate had received his or her diploma, Benjamin Damon delivered the Valedictorian Address.
Damon’s address began with the traditional phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.”
In his speech, Damon touched on the importance of the influences in his life. He spoke about how his family had influenced him and how SCS had influenced him individually.
He shared John 17:3 with the class, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Ending on a lighter note, Damon asked his class if they could take a final ‘selfie’ together, as he whipped out a selfie stick from behind the podium.
With that, he said, “life begins now; make the most of it.”
Following the Valedictorian Address, Rebecca Giancana led the cap and ring ceremony, signifying the completion of the first level of education and promotion in status.
As the morning came to a close, the Promise Singers performed “Irish Blessing.” Mr. Mark Drzymala, father of graduate Matthew Drzymala, declared the benediction.
The sanctuary erupted into applause as the new high school graduates filed out to “Joyful, Joyful.” It was a memorable occasion for all.
Congratulations to SCS’ Class of 2015! God bless, and good luck.
Class of 2015