Seniors graduating from the Hebrew Academuy of Nassau County High School celebrated their commencement on Wednesday evening, June 17, the 25th of Sivan, before an audience of 130 Hondas, Nissans and Toyotas filled with proud family and faculty members.
The ceremony took place in the parking lot at Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn Heights.
As the cars drove through the arches of festive balloons and accompanying music, students were presented with a graduate gift box which included the book “Unlocking Greatness” by Charlie Harary, Hurricane slides, this year’s color war t-shirt, and a cookie with the class picture. Food fit for a drive-in movie such as popcorn, Twizzlers, milk duds, and the like were distributed.
The program was staged under unique circumstances as it complied with the COVID-19 guidelines, making it the first ever Drive-In Movie Graduation at HANC High.
Following the pre-recorded processional and the anthems sung by Jacob Spadaro, the graduates were welcomed by their principal, Rabbi Shlomo Adelman.
Salutatorian Ali Lenefsky delivered the Invocation.
Associated Principal Marie Palaia greeted the graduates with an upbeat congratulatory message. She urged students to strive for excellence, find balance in life, and laugh and smile each day.
In his valedictory address, Adam Speiser encouraged his classmates to continue making positive choices based on the foundations they received at HANC. Adam expressed his Hakarat Hatov to his beloved school, family, and friends and thanked Hashem for bringing the class to this milestone.
Dr. Ruchi Kushner, HANC’s president congratulated the class on their accomplishments and reminded the graduates that they will always remain beloved members of the HANC family.
Then, the faculty honored the Class of 2020 with a poignant video presentation filmed from the comfort of their homes, as they reflected on their most meaningful memories throughout the four years of high school.
Assistant Principal Tziporah Zucker addressed the graduates, emphasizing the unique qualities of the Class of 2020 and how each individual has impacted their school. She complimented the class on their valuable leadership, especially during these unusual times.
The class speaker, Stephanie Hoch, reflected on the four years of high school and the memorable experiences she and her schoolmates shared as a grade.
Senior members of the HANC Band, BlüSøul, accompanied by music teacher Jacob Spadaro, performed “Yom HaShishi” by Omer Adam in a riveting music video.
A surprise and heartfelt tribute video was created by the Class of 2020 to outgoing menahel, Rabbi Shlomo Adelman, entitled “Thank You Rabbi Adelman,” which reflected their admiration for their beloved principal.
Rabbi Adelman, in his charge to the graduates, recognized his special bond with the them and encouraged the students to always stay close to Hashem.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, followed by a blooper reel, faculty lined the “parade route” in a socially distant way, waving to the graduates as they drove through in their decorated cars. This of course was a way of carrying on the long standing tradition at HANC, greeting the graduates as they would come off the stage. At the end of the parade route each student was handed his or her diploma by Rabbi Adelman.
Mazal Tov to all the graduates and their families.