Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

Three students at graduation

Class of 2017 graduates at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady

Here’s the graduation program and awards from the ceremony.

Student wearing lobster hat during graduationLooking out at his fellow 182 graduates in the Class of 2017 at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady, senior speaker Aidan Chaffin spoke about the struggles faced by lobsters as they try to find their place in this world and to grow a new, larger shell.

“This triggers an important transitional period called molting,” he told his classmates. “During this time a lobster is most vulnerable and must learn to adjust to its new life until it has regrown its bigger shell. Most lobsters hide under a rock until their new shell is complete.”

However, he concluded that his fellow students can not hide under a rock waiting for a shell as the lobster does.

He quoted Dr. Kent M Keith’s as saying “I saw a lot of idealistic young people go out into the world to do what they thought was right, and good, and true, only to come back a short time later, discouraged, or embittered, because they got negative feedback, or nobody appreciated them, or they failed to get the results they had hoped for.”

“In response to this problem, Dr. Kent wrote the paradoxical commandments.
Here are a few of them.

▪ “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.”

▪ “The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.”

▪ “Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.”

▪ “Give the world the best you have and you will get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.”

Read Aidan’s entire speech here.

Student delivering graduation speechSenior speaker Margaret Scognamiglio talked about the struggles in any climb, either the aching, painful climb up a  mountain or the future struggles in life.

“What I am trying to tell you, my friends, is this will not be your only mountain. Each of our mountains will be different as we move through this incredible journey of life. Each as equally monstrous, terrifying, treacherous. But at the same time beautifully complex, rewarding, and fulfilling.

“We made it up this mountain. We did not falter to the storm. We stood tall against the rain. We did not know when the rain would end, or when the sun would return. But marching on we kept our wings to the sky and our hearts and minds ablaze-Constantly wanting more, doing more, being more.

“Let yourself be filled with the wondrous resilience of the human spirit. With each new day, ask yourself, “how can I make the climb easier for those around me?” Offer a helping hand to those who need it most. For each of our mountains, although they are unalike, all share the same winding uphill paths diverging into the great unknown.”

Read Margaret’s entire speech here.

Superintendent Susan Swartz said she has high hopes and dreams for the Class of 2017.

“I would guess that throughout your school career, at least one, if not several, people have told you “Work hard and you can be anything you want to be”. Perhaps you thought you would be a teacher, or a fireman, a famous actor, the president, a musician, or a professional athlete. Maybe you dreamed you would leave home, travel and see the world. And I would tell you, with commitment and dedication, you can be anything you choose.

“As I look at you this morning, the graduates of 2017, I wonder what your dreams are…what lives you have imagined for your selves. I look beyond to your siblings, parents, grandparents, and friends….gathered here with you today…..and wonder what dreams they hold in their hearts for you. Yes, there is much behind you…..13 years of classes, homework, friendships, fights, sadness and joy….but even with all of that, there is so much more in front of you….so many dreams…so much to imagine. That is what commencement is about….new beginnings.

“I have wonderful, exuberant, boundless dreams for you. I look at you and see your intelligence, compassion, and energy….gifts that will take you to all kind of places, serve you through good and bad times, propel you to do more than you ever believed possible. I look at you and imagine the future….a future made better by the contributions you will make, by the ideas you will discover, by the kindness you will show others. The future I imagine, the one you will shape, awaits you.”

Read Susan’s entire speech here.

The Class of 2017 has received many recognitions and accolades as can be seen below:

Congratulations to the top seniors in the Class of 2017!

JUNE 5, 2017

Top class of 2017 students standing in front of the high schoolCongratulations to the 16 Class of 2017 Scholastic Medal Honor Award recipients!

The medals are given to the members of the graduating class who have completed their studies with the highest achievement. They will receive the medals at graduation on June 24 at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady.

The medals are given to the members of the graduating class who have completed their studies with the highest achievement. They will receive the medals at graduation on June 24 at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady.

In the photo at right, the Class of 2017 recipients are from left:


▪ Steven Ng, will attend Rochester Institute of Technology to study computer engineering, PARENTS: Qing Hong;

▪ Dakota Atchinson, will attend Brandeis University to study theater and performance, PARENT: Jennifer Hampson;

▪ Briana Fitzgerald, will attend SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry to study environmental resources engineering, PARENTS: Pam and Brian Fitzgerald;

▪ Kylie George, will attend Siena College to study biology, PARENTS: Christine and John George;

▪ Taylor Cooper, will attend Clarkson University to study pre-medical, PARENTS: Deborah and Gordon Cooper;

▪ Elizabeth Esker, will attend Maria College to study occupational therapy assistant, PARENTS: Catherine and Stephen Esker;

▪ Olivia Powhida, will attend St, Lawrence University to study biology, PARENTS: Cathleen and Peter Drago and Scott Powhida; and

▪ Anthony DiCarlo, will attend Rochester Institute of Technology to study computer science, PARENTS: Amy and Dominick DiCarlo.


▪ Aidan Chaffin, will attend Boston University to study cinema studies and mathematics, PARENTS: Susan Pettengill and Mark Chaffin;

▪ Vinicius Silva, will attend SUNY Stony Brook to study psychology/biology, PARENTS: Denise and Dinemayer Silva;

 Carson Rowe, will attend SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry to study environmental studies, PARENTS: Heather Frenz and Shane Rowe;

 Trevor Martin, will attend Rochester Institute of Technology to study engineering exploration, PARENTS: Jennifer and Steve Martin;

▪ Christopher Denham, will attend St. Lawrence University to study English education, PARENTS: Esther and Laurence Denham;

 Joshua Kraines, will attend Rochester Institute of Technology to study computer engineering, PARENTS: Michelle and Donald Kraines; and

▪ Kyle Jerreld, will attend Rochester Institute of Technology to study biomedical engineering, PARENTS: Melissa and Randy Jerreld.

Click on the image to enlarge or download it.

Here are the senior awards and informal student awards received by students on June 2.

Departmental Awards

These students received Departmental Medals at graduation, signaling that the student “completed a sequence in the subject, excelled academically, demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm which is indicative of continued interest and success in the field.”

Recipients of the Departmental Medals were:

  • ENGLISH – Olivia Powhida
  • LANGUAGE – Noah Rejack
  • MATHEMATICS – Anthony DiCarlo
  • SCIENCE/HEALTH – Anthony DiCarlo
  • SOCIAL STUDIES – Katelin Barrera
  • ART – Liana Herrera
  • BUSINESS EDUCATION – Brendon McCarthy
  • MUSIC – Hanna LeGere
  • PHYSICAL EDUCATION – Olivia Powhida
  • TECHNOLOGY – Edward Stern

Six students, 18 retirees recognized by the Board of Education

JUNE 12, 2017
Three students standing at Board of Education meeting after receiving recognitionsThe Board of Education awarded Certificates of Achievement in recognition of special accomplishments to these member of the Class of 2017:

  • Katelin Barrera,
  • Natasha Cotrupi***
  • Briana Fitzgerald***
  • Kyle Jerreld
  • Rhonda Nadeau***
  • Olivia Powhida
  • ***Not pictured in photo at right

Read what the Board of Education members said about each of the six students.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

BOCES New Visions Health Careers graduates ready for the world!

JUNE 7, 2017

Six students standing at BOCES New Visions Health program after receiving recognitionCongratulations to Sophia Pierce, Alexandra Wolfe, Vinicius Silva, Kyle Jerreld, Lucas Terwilliger and Alyssa McKenna on your graduation from the BOCES New Visions Health Careers program yesterday at Proctor’s!

You’ve put in a lot of work to reach this point!

Read more about the New Visions program here.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Here are some photos from today’s graduation.

Click on the image to enlarge it.