Class of 2012 Graduates in Shortened Ceremony on Friday

Lindenhurst High School graduation festivities cut short by thunderstorm, but not before Bulldogs receive their diplomas on June 22.

Afternoon thunderstorms to postpone or push back the graduation ceremony on Friday night.

(Update: Click for photo highlghts of the , and see below how to share your photos.)

However, the skies cleared enough to allow the Class of 2012 to file onto the field on time on for a 6:30 p.m. ceremony that would be cut short by another set of storms.

The ' Buildings and Grounds crew wiped everything down to be ready for the excited friends and family that soon populated the bleachers to watch their sons and daughters turn from to graduates.

The skies stayed ominous, with a breeze blowing across the field.

welcomed everyone to the graduation ceremony following the Class of 2012's entrance to Pomp and Circumstance and the graduating seniors choral performance of the National Anthem.

Giordano drew applause when he informed the crowd the ceremony would be abbreviated due to weather reports calling for more scattered thunderstorms.

Principal's Advice
He congratulated the class, and told them to choose a path in life they love.

"Choose what you love to do, then it'll never be work," the principal said, adding, "Remember in life it's not always about the people with the most credentials, money or awards; it's about the people who love, help and support you...and what people remember the most is how you make them feel."

He continued, "I wish you the happiness of a productive life, the respect of your fellow human beings and the love of your families."

The diplomas were handed out next to the several hundred students that made up this year's class, and just after was supposed to speak, the first two claps of thunder broke out to oohs and laughter from the audience.

Pride of Lindenhurst
The Student Award was then given to , who also presented the class gift to the school: The purchase of a new curtain for the LHS auditorium.

Rain drops after that soon signaled the acceleration of the festivities to the ceremonial moving of the tassel to officially signify graduation. And as the crowd cheered and new grads threw their caps in the air, everyone began filing out quickly.

Giordano concluded the ceremony by noting the speeches of Valedictorian , Salutatorian , Class President Kayla Erb and Student Council President Toniann Riselvato would be posted on the district's website in lieu of their presentation.

(Click to read about the students' second chance to give the speeches.)


Editor's Note: Stay "tuned" to Lindenhurst Patch for more graduation coverage and highlights this weekend. And be sure to your Class of 2012 moments by clicking the upload button here and in this gallery . You could also e-mail barbara.loehr@patch.com, and log onto Lindenhurst Patch's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Gina June 23, 2012 at 09:55 AM
I can't figure out why it was so important to have the graduation last night. The rain date was saturday, it was raining, isn't that what a rain date is for? I was so aggravated to have waited so long to watch my son graduate only for it to be cut short. You only get one high school graduation, and the poor decision by the school to have it last night, when it was clear that there would be thundershowers all night, ruined 602 kids only high school graduation. I felt so bad for the valedictorian and salutatorian who worked so hard for their accomplishments and didn't get to give their speeches. Just terrible.
Kathy June 23, 2012 at 10:19 AM
I agree they were totally robbed of a proper graduation. Very disappointed with the decision.
Johnny June 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM
I think Mr. Giordano had tickets to the Met/ Yankee game today. Seriously, I thought it was a crazy decision, too. Part of me was glad to not have to sit through all the usual speeches. What i couldnt understand was that he waited until the third visible lightning bolt to have everybody leave the field and bleachers.
Donna Liucci Daub June 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM
The District does the best they can with a situation they have no control of. The weather is something especialy this time of year, it's either dangerously sweltering or thunderstorms.The kids received their dipomas and they all had smiles on their faces.This is what happens when you have a ceremony outside.I'm sure money was also a factor in moving the ceremony to Saturday also.Congratulations to all the Lindenhurst Graduates reach for the stars.You've all made us proud. Go Bulldogs
Kat June 23, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I didn't have a child graduating this year but I do agree that it's sad that the ceremony was cut short and the Valedictorian & Salutatorian's speeches were cut. When you have a rain date, you should use it!
Kathy June 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM
All news stations had "severve thunder storm warning's" until 9:PM.
Cody June 23, 2012 at 01:26 PM
ALL news reports had thunderstorms until al least 9pm and the report also said that today was going to be beautiful.....there is a rain date for a reason. All those kids worked so hard. Especially for the valedictorian and salutatorian, that is a huge night for them. I love lindenhurst and have no problem with our schools but I do think they did wrong by the kids last night.
Rose C. June 23, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Whoever was responsible for making the decision to have the grauation ceremony on Friday night should be losing some sleep. Shame on you. What should have been a dignified celebration for the senior class of 2012 deteriorated rapidly into a rushed retreat from a well predicted storm that arrived on schedule! Beginning with principle Giordano's opening that " in light if the weather this will be the shortened version" the rush to beat the rain was on. The student's names were read in a speed race across the podiums, with students racing past the photographer in a steady stream.(can't wait to see those pictures) Rep. King's opening sentence was punctuated by a flash of distant lighteneing & he was out of there. Student Lynn Perednia barely managed to get the tassels moved & the caps tossed then the rain hit and the exodus was on. The words of valedictorian John RInaldi, salutorian Raymond Kelly and class president Kelly Erb are not to be voiced. The senior musicians Beatles song unplayed. The class of 2012, praised for their outstanding maturity at the prom and senior bbq was robbed of their graduation ceremony by a bad decision. Rain dates are created for days like this.
PNC June 23, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Why should we expect anything else from our school district??Our school taxes are ridiculous and quite honestly our kids are the ones who pay the price for the stupidy and lack of judgement from the school board.The Lindenhurst graduates should've been allowed to graduate and enjoy their moment.It's a disgrace and a poor call on the Superindentant,Principle etc...These kids should be graduating "today"!!!! it's exactly right, we have rain dates for that purpose ,all of you higher up idots should be ashamed of your thoughtless decision on this matter.
Barbara D. June 23, 2012 at 03:18 PM
As I sit here this morning, I feel that last night's graduation ceremony is a blur. I agree that the decision to keep it short was necessary once over 3000 people were put in an uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous, situation. However, rain dates are scheduled for rain, and yesterday's storms were anticipated and right on schedule. The shortened graduation was unnecessary since it could have taken place today. What saddens me even more is that the scheduled student speeches are not already on the Lindy website. How many people will really take the time to read them on Monday? The students worked hard during high school and all of their years in the Lindenhurst schools and earned that honor at their graduation ceremony. How many people will retake photos with friends, family, and Lindenhurst staff members to create lifetime memories. I also love and support the Lindenhurst schools and everything they have provided for my children, but am disappointed in last night's decision.
Art June 23, 2012 at 05:47 PM
The decision to have the graduation ceremony last nite was a complete blunder. Theses students worked hard for this moment only to have it shorten because of weather, when it could have been avoided by simply having it today, the scheduled RAIN DATE. The short sightedness of some administrator placed 3000 plus students, parents & friends in an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. situation was absolutely ridiculous. Congratulations to the graduates for the hard work and may success follow you all.
Ann Marie Thomson June 23, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I agree that it is sad that we did not get to hear from our valedictorian, saludatorian, or the presidents of the class and student council. That being said, last night was about the graduates. It seems that every child I spoke to wanted graduation to take place and were willing to take the chance of a shortened ceremony. Many had scheduled events for today and for them last night was not such a great disappointment. Look at the pics! They are happy and proud! Let that be what we take away from this momentous event. Congrats to the Class of 2012. You are all class acts!
SUE June 23, 2012 at 09:08 PM
I agree with most of the other posters. I feel that a major injustice was done to the graduating class of 2012 from Lindy. The students put in four years of hard work to come to graduation and it was ruined. Not hearing the speeches from the administrators and politicians was not a bad thing. However, to deprive the students scheduled to speak is unconscionable. Those students were the voice of the Lindy class of 2012 and they were silenced. I sincerely hope that future graduates will be allowed to have their graduation ceremony as it should be. Rain dates are scheduled to avoid outcomes like last night's debacle. I did not have a child graduating las night, but I chose to voice my opinion as this was outrageous. Congratulations to the Lindenhurst Class of 2012 - reach for the stars!!!! I did not have a student graduating last night, but
Chris C June 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Excuse me- But the district did NOT do their best. This was a situation that they had complete control of. How absolutely irresponsible and reckless of them to continue with the ceremony regardless of the news flashes that warned of severe thunderstorms and dangerous lightening that would continue through the night. They put everyone at risk and in doing so botched up the graduation completely. How awful to rush and shorten such an important day in the lives of these kids. What were they thinking? A rain date was put in place. That was supposed to be the backup plan. Why was that not executed? I am sorry but by 3pm it should have been called off. You will never be able to make it up to the Valedictorian and Salutatorian and Class President that have worked so incredibly hard and were supposed to speak. Shame, Shame on whoever made that decision! What a disappointment it must have been to them and their families. There is no excuse.
Bob T June 24, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Where was the Swindlehurst School Board on this debacle?? Another reason why lindenhurst is NO longer the "Home of Good Schools".
Rita O. June 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM
I wonder if Ann Marie would feel the same way if her son's award was canceled. I seriously doubt it! I sure hope we did not go ahead with the graduation to accommodate those that chose to hold their parties on Saturday. A rain date is there for a reason. It should have been used.. For my graduate, the ceremony was a huge disappointment that will always be remembered for that reason, not because of it being a milestone.That to me is the point that people failed to consider in making the decision not to cancel, especially since the rain date had a zero percent chance of rain!
Jill June 24, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Chris, I completely agree. Not only did they ruin a big events for these students, they put everyone there at risk... my understanding is that at least 3 lightning strikes were seen when they ended it. I feel bad for the students & their families... they deserved better. The weather forecast was very clear that the storms were not over for Friday night and that Saturday would be much more ideal weather. I do not understand why they were so dead set on proceed despite the obvious threat of thunder & lightning. The rain date was clearly going to be better. That is the purpose of having a rain date! I also do not go along with the argument that "people had things planned for Saturday" as an excuse... have never seen the district rearrange things because a few parents have made other plans & honestly, the rain date has been on the school calendar since the beginning of the school year, anyone with a student graduating should have taken into consideration that the Friday was not definite. Truly feel bad for any student that was suppose to give a speech or be singled out for any type of recognition... but really the whole graduating class lost out on the ceremony & festivities that they deserved. These kids have spent 12 years in school listening to the adults tell them to work hard, do your best... Lindy Pride. Graduation was a time for Lindy to show them some Lindy Pride... we failed! Congratulation to the entire class of 2012!!
Mike Salerno June 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM
For the second year in a row, a severe thunderstorm watch is in effect, a line of thunderstorms are evidently heading our way on the radar loop, and Lindenhurst HS decides to not only put our kids in danger, but families and even school employees. "Lead by example" - whoever made this decision should be fired. Lightning, on an open field, is not something to play around with. I guess when someone gets hurt or killed, and a lawsuit is filed, they will finally take thunderstorms and rain dates seriously.
KK June 25, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Are you kidding me! I'm sure there is not 1 graduate or familly member who wasn't disappointed with that so called ceremony. Did you happend to notice that the pictures are only of them coming in? And there are no pictures after the ceremony? That's because there aren't any. Everyone had to leave the field with the kids still in their chairs so they wouldn't get struck by lightning or soaked from the rain! Friday night was not about the graduates.
Johnny June 25, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Not only put people in danger, but kept pushing on with introductions after the first and second time lightning appeared in the sky. It wasn't until the third time that he called an end to it. He should have taken the cue from Peter King. As the congressman was about a sentence or two into his speech, the first lightning was seen. I believe his next words were, "That's it, I'm finished."
Gina June 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM
As the mother of the one kid who actually go to say anything, although shortened, I'm sure you feel that way. I wonder if you would have the same opinion if CJ didn't get to get up and get his recognition. I doubt. it.But imagine being Mrs. Rinaldi or Mrs. Kelly and not getting to see your child, the valedictorian or salutatorian, get that honor. From what I understand both sets of families, and the kids, were very upset, and rightfully so. It was a moment in time that was stolen from them by a poor decision. And as far as the "plans" for Saturday. Anyone who made plans made them by taking a chance. I scheduled nothing for Saturday, and had my party Sunday. When there is a rain date, you shouldn't schedule anything for the rain date. Plain and simple.
John June 26, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Board of Education President Edward Murphy gave a political speech about passing a budget and voting for Board of Education members who had children graduating but couldn't take the time to recognize the outstanding students who should have been giving their speeches, Valedictorian John Rinaldi, Salutatorian Raymond Kelly and Class President Kayla Erb. Mr. Murphy should have had enough common sense and decency to just sit down and let those students speak. His actions made it clear that its not about the students its about the Board of Education. The actions the Lindenhurst School District took in handling this graduation ceremony was a disgrace. Those 3 students were not even recognized for their outstanding achievements until the students and families were leaving the field because of the storms. The recognition of their achievements was an afterthought of ,we will post their speeches on the district website. As of today those speeches are still not posted.
Laura Chapter June 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM
The students have been invited to attend Wednesday board of Ed meeting to give their speeches. Lets all pass the word to attend the meeting atthe McKenna building.
Barbara D. June 28, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Anyone who did not attend the 2012 graduating class speeches given tonight at the Board of Ed meeting missed an inspiring event. To see these students both embrace everything positive they have experienced, and to also publically and respectfully acknowledge a huge, preventable, injustice, shows what fine young adults they have become. THAT is Lindy Pride. Congratulations again!


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