- Newburgh Free Academy held its 147th Commencement Exercises last Thursday on Academy Field. The temperature reached triple digits as members of the Class of 2012 began to arrive for the evening event.
Proud families endured the high temperature for a chance to witness more than 500 graduates receive their diplomas. For those unable to withstand the heat, a closed-circuit feed was set up inside the air conditioned auditorium.
The graduates hurried to their assigned rooms in preparation of the Academic Processional of Graduates. Here they said goodbye to friends, teachers and classmates and discussed their future plans.
Rachel DiCesare found her friend Crysanthe Gianiodis in the Humanities Building of NFA. “I’m going to miss her so much,” DiCesare said. The two have seen each other every day for so long that it has become part of their daily routine. That will change when DiCesare heads to Dutchess Community College in the fall and Gianiodis to New Paltz.
DiCesare will be studying Early Childhood Education and Gianiodis will study Communications Disorders.
Down the hall, Alexandra “Ally” Slater, who had one of the lead parts in the high school musical “Hairspray,” will soon be on her way to study theater in Manhattan. No surprise the outgoing young lady wants to become an actress.
But before they can start the next chapter of their lives, they first have to process onto Academy Field and graduate high school.
There Slater would join the NFA Madrigals as they sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and the schools Alma Mater, followed by a rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”
Melissa Siegel, NFA Main Campus Acting Principal, and Matteo Doddo, NFA North Campus Acting Principal, offered welcoming remarks.
Senior Class President Alex De La Rosa and Cranarian Council President Kintrua Williams offered Opening Remarks to the graduates. Each took a stroll down memory lane that was met with a round of applause.
Class of 2012 Valedictorian Brianna Levy spoke of the many different people she has met during her academic career in the Newburgh school system. They have included people from different races, religions and sexual orientations. She summed up the school she was graduating from as, “a school where students come to be more than just pupils. We become individuals.”
Those individuals will now depart to begin a new chapter. Some as pupils in college. Some will join the armed forces. Others will enter the work force. No matter where their path in life takes them, they will all share the bond of being members of the Newburgh Free Academy Class of 2012.
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