Congratulations Class of 2017!
The New Rochelle High School class of 2017 graduated on June 22 in a ceremony filled with pride, praise and eyes turned to the future.
In the school's 119th commencement exercise, 642 students received their diplomas. Dressed in purple robes with white sashes, they walked across William H. McKenna Field and into a new phase of their lives.
"Honor things that make sense, but don't be afraid to create new traditions and blaze new trails," high school Principal Reginald Richardson told them. "Each and every one of you has unlimited potential to contribute positively to our society."
Graduation will take the members of the class of 2017 in many directions.
"Our dreams for the future vary widely," salutatorian Melanie Anaya said in her address to the class. "Some of us want to become politicians, others doctors or mechanics or anything under the blue sky."
Several of the graduates, sharing hugs and snapping photos with friends and relatives after the ceremony, showed a variety of goals and dreams. Nicolette Mejia will study culinary arts at Westchester Community College. Jaren Smith will attend Berklee College of Music in Boston to study music production and engineering. An aspiring songwriter, he credited his time in the high school chorus and teacher Derrick James with bringing out his singing ability.
"He helped me to become a master of my craft," he said.
Nicholas Romandelli said NRHS, with its many Advanced Placement courses, prepared him well to study economics at Lehigh University. He took eight of them. "You really get a good perspective of what college is like," he said.
Albert Forero will study mechanical engineering at the New York City College of Technology. "New Rochelle, because it's a big, diverse school, prepares you for anything in life," Forero said.
During the ceremony, valedictorian Wendy Yu told her fellow students she was eager to see the success of her classmates.
"I can't wait to see where the power of your minds takes you all," she said. "And I only hope that together we will carry forth with an open mindset as we disperse across the world."
Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne challenged the students to take their place in the world fearlessly.
"I urge you to ask the hardest questions, tackle the thorniest problems," he told them. "Confront injustice. Create and innovate. The world is in your hands. Make the most of it."