Herndon High’s graduating seniors know they were students for the past four years, but might not have known that they also played another role during their time at the school.
"You have been incredible teachers," said Saranne Segal, addressing the 431 seniors at Herndon’s graduation on Thursday, June 14. An English teacher at the school since 1983, Segal was chosen as the guest speaker for the Class of 2007 graduation ceremony. She will retire at the end of the year.
"You come from all over the world, your achievements are phenomenal. You guys are the American dream," said Segal. She reminded the students of what freedom meant during their time as Herndon Hornets. For the past four years freedom meant a fire drill, a snow day or having a substitute. However, said Segal, ultimate freedom is the ability to make choices. "You have taken the wheel, you’re gone now," she said.
Segal also gave the graduating class a list of recommendations on how to approach their future. "Keep thinking that five snowflakes in a row warrants a snow day. Close the office," she said. Treating annoyance with sarcasm — as was often practiced at Herndon — and pretending to be confused when asked a question that they do not want to answer would make things easier in their professional lives. "Pierce everything on your body," she said. Segal left the students with a final invocation: "Good luck, God bless you and may the force be with you."
CLASS PRESIDENT Jeremiah Headen said he and his classmates are now taking steps into future hopes and dreams, but also remembered the days at Herndon. "As you all know, it’s been a long journey. But, we’re here," said Headen. He urged his classmates to continue to serve their communities, wherever they may be. "Service is the road that leads to greatness," said Headen.
Principal Frances Ivey presented Katie Lombardozzi with this year’s Faculty Award. She said choosing one student for the award was a difficult task, given that there are many students at the school who reserve recognition. Ivey said Lombardozzi is an energetic, diligent, self-motivated, hard-working and honest student. "She is greatly concerned for the welfare of others," said Ivey.
Class secretary Charnele Bazemore said the class of 2007 had an impressive record during its time at Herndon, starting with winning homecoming floats in their freshman and sophomore years. Much of the class participated in nationally acclaimed programs and activities at the school, said Bazemore. "As a class we definitely raised the bar for classes to follow," she said.
"This is a beautiful world we live in, take advantage of it," said class treasurer Jessica Cutchin.
Assistant principal Jim Hannon said he saw members of the class develop relationships over the last four years, which he hopes will last them for a long time.
Ivey announced that more than $2 million in local and national scholarships was awarded to Herndon seniors this year.