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Touching Graduation Ceremony for the William Spyropoulos School at St. Nicholas Flushing

NEW YORK – With the customary wishes for progress and happiness, but also with the mixed emotions of completing a chapter in their lives with hugs and farewells, the graduation ceremony of the Class of 2024 took place on June 7 for the William Spyropoulos Greek-American Day School of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Shrine Church in Flushing, NY.

The 42 graduates of the Class of 2024 of the “Vasilios Syropoulos” Day School of St. Nicholas Flushing, in a commemorative photo with the priests and teachers, just before the beginning of the Graduation Ceremony, which took place on Friday, inside the Church, amidst an emotional atmosphere. PHOTO: TNH/C. Athanasatos

The 42 graduates, many of whom had been attending the school since early childhood, received their diplomas one by one, leaving with the best memories and the promise to remain active members of the Community. Most of them will continue to high school at the St. Francis Preparatory School, while others will attend schools such as Bayside, Chaminade, and Holy Cross, among others.
The Pastor, Fr. Paul Palesty, welcomed students, teachers, and parents before the ceremony began. The national anthems of the U.S. and Greece were played, and Fr. Palesty chanted the Pentecost hymn.

Valedictorian of the Class of 2024, Maria Seretis, during her speech at the graduation ceremony. PHOTO: TNH/C. Athanasatos

Greetings were addressed on behalf of the community by the president of the Parent-Teacher Association Anna Xerakias, the president of the School Board, Georgia Athanasopoulos, the president of the Parish Council, Michael Haralambous, and the assistant principal, Georgia Kakivelis. Their remarks focused on the work of William Spyropoulos school as well as the achievements of the students, who are now heading into a new chapter of their educational lives, with their sights set on their upcoming academic careers.

Fr. Paul Palesty with the honors students Maria Seretis (Valedictorian) and Nicholas Goulino (Salutatorian). PHOTO: TNH/C. Athanasatos

The students performed the song ‘A Light in Greece’, with music by internationally renowned composer Yanni (Yiannis Chryssomallis) and lyrics by Tasoula Thomaidou, a song originally sung by Konstantina in the early ’90s.

Fr. Palesty joins in a commemorative photo with the honors students and their parents. PHOTO: TNH/C. Athanasatos

The speeches by alumni were of particular interest. First, Yiannis Metis, who graduated in 2020, gave his advice and exhortations to the Class of 2024. Then, the keynote speaker, Greg Gatanas, who attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and is soon to be ordained, took the stage. A 2009 graduate, he spoke about the moral and academic foundations he received from the William Spyropoulos school, which benefited him in his subsequent studies. The presentations of this year’s honor graduates, Maria Seretis (Valedictorian) and Nicholas Goulino (Salutatorian), followed.

The keynote speaker – and honors graduate of the Class of 2009 – Greg Gatanas, addressed the new graduates. PHOTO: TNH/C. Athanasatos

The Class of 2024 was presented by the principal, Maria Tzalas, and per tradition, the graduates sang the school anthem ‘O Spyropoulos’ as a farewell to the educational community they had been a part of all these years.

The St. Nicholas church in Flushing was packed during the graduation ceremony for the 42 students of the Class of 2024. PHOTO: TNH/C. Athanasatos

(Some names have been transliterated from Greek to English. The full list of the names of the graduates in English will be published soon.)


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