PHS Class of 2017: ‘Don’t forget where we came from’

    PHS grad 1Editor’s Note: The following information was provided by the Peekskill City School District.

    On Sunday, June 25, Peekskill High School held its annual commencement ceremony as the crimson and blue gowns of Peekskill’s 185 graduates filled the Paramount Theater.

    Colleges and universities accepting PHS Class of 2017 members include, but are not limited to: Fashion Institute of Technology, Johnson & Wales University, New York University, New York Institute of Technology, PACE University, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology and multiple SUNY, CUNY and community colleges as well.

    The ceremony kicked-off with remarks from Mistress of Ceremonies Arianna Hurtado, followed by a performance by the Peekskill High School City Singers.

    Next, Principal Arthur spoke, noting the students’ efforts leading up to the joyful occasion.

    “On behalf of myself and the entire Peekskill High School faculty, I congratulate the Class of 2017,” Arthur said. “Your presence today is an acknowledgement of and a testament to the fact that you have achieved a major accomplishment in your life.”

    Valedictorian Brittney Pauta and Salutatorian Nia Robinson
    Valedictorian Brittney Pauta and Salutatorian Nia Robinson

    Following Arthur’s comments came words of wisdom, praise and congratulations from student speakers, including Salutatorian Nia Robinson, Valedictorian Brittney Pauta and Student Council President Ryanne Taylor.

    In her speech, Robinson spoke about the unique diversity Peekskill possesses.

    “I am thankful to Peekskill High School for giving me opportunities which made me appreciate the amount of diversity we have in our schools,” Robinson said. “I have been shown that we are all so different, yet still have this common ground that brings us all together. It is a true melting pot.”

    Pauta spoke to her class about the community of support she received during her high school years and the friendships she made during her time at Peekskill schools.

    “Although we are all heading down different paths, don’t ever forget where we came from,” Pauta said. “Do not forget your cultural roots, your teachers, your family and the people who have helped you along the way. Stay humble and thank everyone who has helped you reach this point in your life.”

    phs grad 7Pauta concluded her graduation speech by thanking her classmates for the times they shared together.

    “Thank you to the graduates in the Class of 2017, for creating many special moments together that will turn into one beautiful memory,” Pauta said.

    Before the ceremony concluded, Interim Superintendent for Schools Dr. Lorenzo Licopoli, who was joined on stage by PHS graduates Anari Ray and Erika Mendez, made his remarks, which included commentary on a careful observation he made earlier that day.

    “I think the decorations on the caps this year are the best I’ve ever seen,” he said. Licopoli then continued his speech with some words of advice before congratulating the graduates.                                         .

    “Today, as I listen to all the speeches, it is clear that you are an extraordinary class…I say to you go forth, be an instrument of peace and humanity by being yourself and being courageous. My heartfelt congratulations are extended to you on your graduation from Peekskill High School.”

    As the graduates left the building, many gathered for photos with the friends and family members who waited outside the theater with flowers and balloons.

    When asked how she felt about her accomplishment, PHS graduate Emily Czerwinski replied that she was happy to be finished with her high school career.

    “Graduating is, in the simplest terms, an absolute relief,” Czerwinski said. “I feel ready and excited to take on the next chapter in my life—headfirst.”

    See below for a complete list of the Peekskill High School Class of 2017.

    PHS Class of 2017
    Leandra Alicea
    Carlos Andrade
    Oswald Annang
    Jada Anthony
    Sugery Arita Amaya
    Kerin Arita Amaya
    Toshonia Bailey Jones
    Elexsis Baisley
    Shadeja Barker
    Nicholas Barnes
    Kian Bell
    Jerry Best
    Prince Boateng
    Essence Boyd-Roberts
    Leyona Brito
    Brianna Brown
    Terrance Brown
    Cortez Burris
    Vincent Camacho
    Luis Carrasquillo
    Anthony Castro
    Mercy Chacha Gallego
    Karlos Chamba
    Brandon Charles-Leston
    Fausto Chillogalli Matailo
    Edwin Chuquimarca Deleg
    Vina Coachman
    Christopher Conklin-Mann
    Julio Cruz R Edith Cruz
    Brianna Curry
    Emily Czerwinski
    Joseph Dabbs,Jr.
    Sheldon Davis
    Shenece Davis
    Crishan De León Cardona
    Luis De Paz
    Jamila Desir
    Joseph D’Souza
    Sergio Duarte
    Nicholas Dunwoody
    Julio Erraez Arias
    Orlando Estrada
    Erika Farez
    Randy Farez
    Christopher Fauntleroy-Calderon
    RH Elizabeth Fernandez Fermin
    Jessica Fields Briana Flores
    Glenny Flores Flores
    Yaro Gaddy-Waller
    Marcus Gaines,Jr.
    Carlos Galindo
    Ty-resse Gibbs
    Ally Gibbs
    Marlon Gomez
    Daniel Gonzalez
    Jessy Gonzalez Cordova
    Symone Graham
    Georgina Gray
    Dayanna Guapisaca Nasqui
    Elvis Guerrero
    Sandy Guevara
    Matthew Guzman Jimenez
    Tania Guzman
    Marin Keri Harriott
    Dominique Haviland
    Jake Hayward
    Aldaine Heaven, Jr.
    Christopher Hernandez
    Brian Hernandez
    José Hernandez
    Matthew Hernandez
    Phillip Hester, II
    Nyrie Holliman
    Arianna Hurtado
    Jordan Illescas Pintado
    Paulina Inga-Crespo
    Kiwaun Irizarry
    Ivan Iza
    Autumn Jacobs
    Mariah James
    Victor James
    Sade Jefferson Hanson
    Carlos Jeton Lazo
    Cheyeanne Johnson
    Ta’Tyana Johnson
    Jayson Joseph
    Nestor Lassic Jr.
    Henser Lázaro Nova
    Birch Lazo-Murphy
    Brian Lehning
    Sara Lido
    Jenny Lojano Chasi
    Angelica Lugo
    David Macas Ordonez
    Jonathan Maldonado
    Prince Marsh
    Luis Martinez
    John McCrae
    Jaznia McCrae
    Olivia McIntosh
    Jenae McLean
    Naieka McTurner
    Erika Mendez
    Alyssa Mendola
    Iman Mickens
    Serena Miller
    Karla Mogrovejo Quezada
    Cristian Molina Clavijo
    Jennifer Monge
    Carly Moran
    Briana Moran
    Carlos Nazario
    Rahemah Nuri
    Mario Otero Garcia
    Jahzmine Parker
    An-Nisaa Patterson
    Ricky Patterson
    Brittney Pauta
    Jamilette Perez Bermeo
    Jasmine Petrocine
    Jose Pimentel Pacheco
    Madeline Quezada
    Milton Quezada
    Luis Quezada
    Bryan Quezada Vasquez
    Jeremy Quinche
    Diandra Quinn-Stanger
    Joseph Rampersant
    Anari Ray
    Juan Reyes
    Elise Ricciardi
    Wendy Rivadeneira
    Orellana Aaliyah Rivera
    Brenda Rivera
    Samantha Robinson
    Nia Robinson
    Rhondre Robinson
    Nikia Robinson Smith
    Monica Roca Delgado
    Deanna Rodricks
    Merlyn Rodriguez Corcino
    Kevin Rodriguez Serrano
    Steven Rosa
    Steven Ruedas
    Andy Saiteros Pauta
    Wendy Salazar Lemus
    Edwin Sapatanga Macao
    Maria Saquipay Peralta
    Keyshon Sarvis
    Josh Von G-clef Satur
    Donasha Scott
    Shadayia Scott
    Alexandra Semple
    Alana Serrano
    Devon Sherman
    Kayla Slaughter
    Jalynn Smith
    Samantha Smythe
    Marquize Smythe
    Elisia Solis
    Sade St. John Culberson
    Ginett Suarez
    Donald Taylor
    Ryanne Taylor
    Andrew Terrell
    Kaitlyn Thornton
    Mehki Todd
    Brandon Torres
    Jaylen Travis
    Nassaa Turnbow
    Samantha Veras
    Cindy Villatoro Alfaro
    Shonica Wagner
    Tiriq Wagner
    Sarah Walker
    Luke Warmbrand
    Malachi Williams
    Savion Williams
    Kayla Wilson
    Dainia Wilson
    Aliyah Young
    Tamia Young
    Nicole Zayas