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As the skies cleared from the clouds that had been threatening all week a sea of white, with a hint of red, took over the turf at Warren King Field at Garden City High School as the 2011 graduates made their way into their seats before a crowd of parents, friends, relatives, teachers and administrators. The boys, in their white tuxedos with red carnations, complimented the girls, wearing white dresses and each carrying a red rose. To open the ceremony, the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Student Council President Brian Emmert, was followed by the HS Senior Chorale singing the National Anthem. Principal Nanine Cuttitta addressed the crowd and introduced Salutatorian Mike Mongelli who will be heading to Cornell in the fall. Next up was Senior Class President, Jake Galasso, who reminded the crowd and the graduates of the many accomplishments of the class of 2011. Ms Cuttitta then introduced the Julia Maloney scholarship winner, Tim Dooley, who will be heading to Georgetown. District Superintendent Dr. Robert Fiersen spoke to the graduates before Jan Gong was introduced. Gong, who is an Intel finalist and Presidential Scholar earned the distinction of being Garden City’s class of 2011’s valedictorian. Gong’s achievements also include finalist status in her junior year in the National College Board Young Epidemiology Scholar competition; first place winner of the Neuroscience Research Prize sponsored by the American Academy of Neurology; she was one of 45 students nationally selected to attend the Research Science Institute sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and was a grand prize winner in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. She will be heading to Harvard in the fall. Keynote speaker Carlo Rebolini spoke to the crowd before Galasso and class Vice President Shannon McWilliams introduced each and every graduate who, one by one, stepped up to the podium to receive their diplomas from Board of Education members Colleen Foley, Barbara Trapasso, Laura Hastings, Angela Heineman and Tom Pinou. Principal Cuttitta confirred the diplomas before the crowd was treated to the Senior Chorale's rendition of Katy Perry's Firework. After the ceremony the graduates left the field for one final time before finding their awaiting family members and friends for pictures, hugs, and goodbyes.