Mattituck High School graduated more than 100 students today at its 102nd commencement ceremony.
“We are gathered here today to celebrate not only academic success, but personal success,” said salutatorian Jack Dufton.
“We have the privilege of sharing this celebration with our entire community… and someday when one of us cures a disease, jumps out of a plane to save a life, sails around the world or sings on a Broadway stage, we will all be proud, because it is our community that has made us the people we’ve become,” he said.
Dufton, who is captain of the school’s cross country and track teams, also thanked the audience on a personal level.
“Members of our community step up every time they are asked… I know that the track changed my life,” he said, referring to a new track that was installed in 2014.
After the graduates were given their degrees, valedictorian Katherine Hoeg gave the final address to her peers.
“This day signifies the end of the things we’ve known all of lives,” she said, recognizing that the prospect of graduating is “scary.” But she encouraged her classmates not to let fear paralyze them.
“The things we can’t control inspire fear. We avoid making mistakes, taking risks… but in this avoidance, we become so limited it is inevitable that the greatest version of ourselves will never exist,” she said. “So I dare you, Mattituck. Look fear in the face, let it bring you to your knees and strip you of the person that you are, and survive.”
SoutholdLOCAL photos by Courtney Blasl.