Congratulations to all the students in our community’s Class of 2021.
As a proud father of one of this year’s graduates, I know first-hand how difficult this past year has been and I hope every one of our students is proud. Tonight, I will have the opportunity to join countless other families who will travel to high schools in our area to share some memories. For me, that means heading out to Smithtown High School East to enjoy one last time at the school with my daughter Jayme.
As with all other parents, this will be a bittersweet day. While I am so proud to see Jayme achieve this goal, it will be with the realization that my wife Terry and I are shifting from parents of a high school senior to parents of an incoming Clemson University student. It is a feeling that I know we share with many of our fellow parents.
Thankfully, many of the restrictions that have impacted our lives throughout the past year have been lifted just in time. This will allow all of our graduates to enjoy this special time with all who have been there for them throughout their educational journey. For us, that means our daughter Jessica, who is so proud of her younger sister, and our entire family can join us and that means the world to Terry and me.
As we come to the end of this journey, I would like to thank the leaders of our schools for being there for all of our young men and women. Their work on behalf of our students - often unseen – has been essential throughout this past school year and we applaud their dedication to our children.
Additionally, I would like to show my deepest appreciation to all of the educators who have impacted our student’s educational careers. Personally, they have always been there for our daughter - pushing her to be reach her fullest potential in the classroom and on the field as Captain and MVP of the Smithtown East Whisperettes Kickline.
The dedication of our teachers and support staff has been truly inspiring and we hope they know how much they have meant to all of our students. Years from now, as our students reflect on the impact these men and women have had on their lives, they may forget the details of the subjects they were taught but they will always remember the lessons that their teachers provided them about life.
I also hope our graduates will take some time to thank their parents on this special day. Their parents have been there since the start in kindergarten and will always be ready your best supporter.
Most of all, I hope our graduates enjoy this time. With all the assistance from the teachers, staff and parents, it was our students who have reached this goal and we hope each and every one of them is proud. They are our future leaders and we hope they take the lessons they have learned to make the future of our state, nation and world better.
And please have fun – you deserve it. Congratulations.
Senator Mario R. Mattera
P.S. To Jayme - we love you and are very proud of you!!