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June 22, 2017 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EST)
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Standing by Testing the captions Testing the captions Testing the captions Testing the captions »: Ladies and gentleman, good
evening and welcome to the 50th commencement ceremony
of the Henry Viscardi School
For those who can, please stand and
greet those who are in our processional.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Board
of Trustees, tonight’s honored
stage guests, and our School
Administration led by President & CEO
John D. Kemp. Ladies and Gentlemen, The
Faculty and Staff of the Henry Viscardi
School led by Faculty Marshall
Carol Dolan. Henry Viscardi
School graduates, led by Student
Marshall Linda Reiser. (Applause) (Applause)
. (Cheers and applause) .
(Cheers and applause) » DESTINI MITCHELL-MURRAY:
For those who can, please stand for the Pledge of
Allegiance I pledge allegiance
to the Flag of the United States of
America, and to the Republic for which
it stands, one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice
for all. Thank you,.
(Applause) » ANGELO ZEGARELLI: Good
evening, everyone and welcome to the 50th Henry Viscardi
School commencement. (Cheers and applause) It is a very proud day here at
HVS and at this time I would like to introduce our
executives and special guest who are joining us on
stage evening. To my left, your right, John D. Kemp,
President and CEO of The Viscardi Center.
(Cheers and applause) Dr. Christopher Rosa, Interim
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the City
University of New York and tonight’s commitment speaker..
(Cheers and applause) Beth Daly, chairperson of the
Henry Viscardi School Board of Trustees.
(Cheers and applause) Jeanette Glover, clinical
support services and admissions coordinator.
(Cheers and applause) And Gail, head nurse at the
Henry Viscardi School. (Cheers and applause) Before addressing the class of
2017, I would like to thank the school staff members
for their tireless support and dedication, which
ensures our students receive a solid education and
learn the life skills they need to succeed in college,
at work, in our communities, and most
importantly, in life. As 18, you are seamlessly
fulfilling each student’s therapeutic, academic, health,
assistive technology and social needs every day, and for
that I acknowledge you and thank you.
(Applause) Parents, let me say that again
, parents, families, we thank you for being an active in
your child’s learning, and trusting and believing that
Viscardi would provide an enriched, high-quality
education in a warm and caring environment. You should
be proud of their accomplishments and your sons
and daughters should take pride in the role that you have
played in getting them here today paired so, thank
you.. (Cheers and applause)
Graduates, I have been here at the Henry Viscardi
School as a teacher and administrator for 15 years.
Impact I have taught just about everyone of you. We
have made many, many memories together, and it has been
my pleasure to watch you grow and mature into bright,
compassionate young adults. You know from the years
here that things don’t always come easy, but you have
continually rose to the occasion and found ways to a
compass or goals. Once you leave here tonight, your
road will not always be easy. Whether it be a class in
college, finding a job, making new friends, or
transitioning into adulthood, but don’t let these bumps
in the road standing your way. When you feel
challenged, and you absolutely will, remember think of
our founder, Dr. Henry Viscardi Junior who opened the
school doors 55 years ago. As a man with a disability,
he set out to prove people wrong, to change
misconceptions.’s vision was to show not only Long
Island, but the entire world that people like him,
people like you could be productive employees, valuable
and independent citizens, homeowners, and loving
husbands, wives, fathers and mothers. He certainly
accomplish that and so much more .
As your class touted, continue to be loud and proud,
set your bar high for this next chapter of your lives
and aspire to be like Dr. Viscardi and the Viscardi
alumni before you. Be mentors, role models, advocates,
but most of all, live your dream. Congratulations!
Keep in touch, without a doubt come back to visit us!
(Applause) There is an academic
tradition, which was instituted long ago,
that we carry on today.
This practice is the acknowledgment of
academic excellence. In that spirit, it
is our tradition to have a leading
scholar, who is leaving the Henry
Viscardi School, At The Viscardi Center, offer
words of appreciation to those who
made his or her learning possible, and verbally salute
them for their noble works
Tonight we have a senior ranking
academically high in .
Her class, us student who will be attending St.
St. John’s University in the fall. I am
honored to present Alexa Williams to offer
the Salutatory address. address..
(Cheers and applause) Good evening, Mr.
Kemp, Mr. Zegarelli, Mrs. Glover, Board
Members, students, parents, family,
friends and staff members. Welcome to
the Henry Viscardi High School 50th
graduation commencement ceremony.
My name is Alexa Williams and it is
my honor to be the class salutatorian..
(Cheers and applause) class of 2017, we
would like to thank every single person
that has helped us get to this point
over the past few years. Fellow classmates,
this is a very important day for
us. This day marks our entrance into
adulthood. on to college or
attend a vocational program.
But whatever we do, it’s the first time
we make our own choices for the future.
Over the past few years, we studied
and worked hard to be where we are
tonight: graduating..
(Cheers and applause) As I thought about
this speech, I wanted to share my
first experience at HVS with you.
I transferred from public school to HVS
during kindergarten at five years old.
Even at such a young age, I realized my
experience was different here than
at public school. I immediately
noticed that the people here at HVS
were just like me. I always was made to
feel special and part of the class.
It was the first time I was not an
outsider. HVS has supported my
academic career and helped me gain
confidence in myself and my
accomplishments. Not only did I
receive support from the teachers, my
friends and staff members at HVS, my
parents were always my biggest
cheerleaders. Especially my mom;
she instilled in me the desire to always
believe in myself and strive to make
my dreams come true. .
(Cheers and applause) height always
affected my outlook on the world.
I had feelings of insecurity and did
not feel comfortable in my own shoes.
I always doubted and second-guessed
myself. Things changed when
I realized I wanted to keep growing as a
person and as a student.
It wasn’t so much about my height
anymore but I was able to finally
focus on me as an individual.
Therefore, I started to focus more on
gaining confidences by doing things that
I love. For example, playing
basketball helped me become more
confident and stronger.
It made me become even more confident
when I really enjoyed going to
basketball tournaments and
winning the tournaments with my
teammates. I wasn’t so shy
anymore to be in the public eye. “Go Hard
or Go Home” has always been my
personal mantra. I live by this quote
every day. I may not be tall
but I have big dreams.
I hope to become an attorney one day,
get married and be a loving wife and
mother. I know that these
dreams are possible and attainable.
I also know I always have the support
from my friends and family..
(Cheers and applause) class of 2017, I
would like to extend our sincere
appreciation to our teachers and
administrators for your dedication.
We have not always been the easiest
group to handle, but you somehow got us
all this far. To our moms, dads,
and all of our family and friends,
thank you for your support throughout
our lives. You have taught us
more than any formal education ever
could. We go out into the world with
confidence and readiness because of
all your combined efforts.
Thank you for the lessons you all
taught us, and thank you for teaching us
to think for ourselves. We are
forever grateful. No matter where we
go or what we do in this great big
world, we promise to never forget HVS and
take with us the values and lessons
you have taught us. Cheers to the Class
of 2017! Best Wishes Always!.
(Cheers and applause) Thank you.
» ANGELO ZEGARELLI: It is also our
tradition to have the leading academic
student of the class offer the official
words of farewell. I have the honor to
present the student with the highest
academic record in the class.
He will be attending The College of State
Island in the Fall. Please welcome the
Valedictorian of the 2017 Commencement
Exercises, Kristian Rosado..
(Cheers and applause) » KRISTIAN ROSADO:
Good evening, and welcome; Mr. Kemp,
Mr. Zegarelli, Mrs. Glover, Mrs. Nolan,
distinguished guests, faculty,
staff, families and fellow graduates, tothe 2017
Henry Viscardi graduation! .
(Cheers and applause) humbled to be your
Valedictorian speaker.
I have been reflecting on my
years at our school. It has been an
interesting journey. Class of 2017, I am
sure you can identify with my
emotions as I look back on the memoriesof being a
student at our school.
At this very moment, some of us may be
nervous or evenScared — I know I am — at the
thought that we are leaving our second home
Do you remember your first day of school?
I do. I remember getting
off the bus and feeling nervous and
scared because I did not know anyone at
Henry Viscardi. It only took a few
days to feel that I was accepted and
that I belonged here. I would say
that year began my transformation from
a shy little boy to the confident and outspoken young man
I’ve become. The Viscardi School
is my second family. The relationships
and close ties we built over time are
as strong and meaningful, as any.
You are my second family. The range of
emotions and experiences are so
significant. Youhave supported me
and accepted me throughout many
trying times. We’ve had ups and downs,
and remain strong for each other.
The bond we have is so solid that I know
in the future I can call on anyone of
you for support. This connection,
this bond is whatmakes us family. I
am glad I’ve gotten to know all of you.
I feel blessed that we made it together,
to the end. Tonight, we
celebrate our accomplishments, and
pay tribute to our school, our
teachers, staff, and our families.Over the years at
Henry Viscardi, we learned lots, from
all of the teachers at H.V.S. I want to
thank all the teachers for helping
me reach my goal. Throughout my time
here, I’ve learned that if I tried my
hardest and do my best, I will succeed.
In elementary school, my
fifth-grade teacher, Ms. Sigurdsson,
would call on me to read aloud.
Her gentle encouragement of
saying “It’s okay; take your time,”
helped to build my confidence.
Her reassuring words made me feel safe
and it always brought a smile. I
am grateful to her, for helping me
believe in myself.In middle school,
one of the teachers that I will always
remember, is Mrs. Martillotti,
formerly Miss Singer, who got me,
through the Phantom Tollbooth by Norton
Juster, in spite of my stubbornness. I
know realize Ms. Martillotti’s
toughness was love. Thank you.I have learned math
from Ms. Phillips, humor mixed in with
hard work from Mr. Haviken and Dr. Ron
taught me believe in myself. A special
recognition to our counselor and
graduation team that
plan all our great senior events.Thank you to my
family, a very special family.
We celebrate our successes, and
support each other through tough times.
unconditional love.
That’s why I stand here before you.
They give me comfort, and joy,
encouragement, and that big push I
need. I would like to take
a moment to recognize my
grandmother, my inspiration. She
would often say “don’t come back
without a 90, because I know you
can do it.”My entire family has always set high
expectations, and I’ve learned that
when high expectations are
set, we can meet them.
So, I will follow inmy grandmother’s
footsteps and be the second one in my
family going to college. .
(Cheers and applause) I want to say that
tonight, my younger brother, Brenden is
graduating from Elementary school.
My father, grandfather, uncle,
are at Brenden’s graduation. Lots of
love, hugs and support, for Brenden
as well. .
(Cheers and applause) charge of our
future. A scary thought, but I thinkwe are
ready. We must be.
Our school, our families, have given
us a good foundation. We have
the skills, the ambition to create
whatever we want. Let’s go do it!!!! .
(Cheers and applause) Thank you. » ANGELO ZEGARELLI:
Our School has always been honored
by distinguished men and women who have
offered their words of wisdom in our
commencement address.
Tonight is no exception. I would
like to invite Dr. John D. Kemp to the
podium to introduce tonight’s guest Dr.
Christopher Rosa. (Applause) » JOHN D. KEMP: Welcome
everyone and congratulations to the class of 2017!
(Applause) We are proud of you, who you are
and who you are becoming, and especially for the
next set of plans you have for yourselves. There is
no doubt that you have been receiving it many words of
wisdom this past week, maybe past month, maybe the past
year, but let me add three to you to add to this
list. The first one is lead, as Justin Darr would say,
lead but lead on. Lead to the point you are
comfortable. You have had many years at Viscardi to build your
skills including Student Council, the National
Honor Society, and attending leadership conferences
in Washington , DC.
Advocate, advocate for yourself and others. I have
seen firsthand how you advocated on behalf of your
classmates and let your voice to our efforts in Albany
and tonight we had Senator Elaine Phillips and
assemblyman Anthony dear so who is here tonight, and
you have made a great impact on the Senate and the
assembly. (Applause)
So graduates, you are our best advocates, and you
have lived up to it. So thank you. Take
responsibility for your whole life. You are in control
of your lives. You have the power to make choices
regarding your continued education, employment, housing housing, healthcare, financial
independence, and more. I want you, and I expect you to
continue to own your life, enjoy your life, to be as
productive and is independent as you possibly can,
and most of all, to be as happy as you possibly can,
and you will always be great to me and everyone in this
room! Tonight is bittersweet. You may feel
energized and excited, and at the same time, maybe just a
bit sad and apprehensive at the same time. But go out
and embrace the new adventures ahead of you, keep us
posted on your journeys, and return often to
Viscardi. You are always welcome here! So now I get to
introduce Dr. Rosa, Dr. Christopher Rosa. Dr.
Christopher Rosa is a fervent, loyal, New York Mets fan.
(Cheers and applause) I could stop right to and that
would be enough because I get his Facebook posts, and they are loaded
with his time at Citi Field and cheering on our Mets,
but he is also the vice chancellor for student affairs
at CUNY where he oversees many, many areas of the
University including 9000 students with disabilities.
(Cheers and appla use)
He previously served as the University’s assistant
Dean for student affairs as assistant dean and prior to
assistant Dean, he was assistant office directorate to
student affairs. And this year represents his 30th
year of service to CUNY, first as a student leader,
later as a member of the faculty , and in more recent
years, as an administrative leader.
Dr. Rosa is a graduate of Queens College and served
there as the student service of the students
disabilities and the student services program before
joining CUNY. Well, Dr. Rosa, has diverse
broad-based student develop meant experience,’s best
known at CUNY for his recognized work on behalf of the
inclusive higher education opportunities for
students with disabilities. He has secured more than 12 me
and dollars in external funding to support these
efforts, which include the highly acclaimed CUNY leads
program that transitions CUNY graduates with disabilities
to competitive employment at more than twice
the national average rate rate. And more recently, the
establishment of modeling inclusive higher education
programs for students with intellectual disabilities at
CUNY. A published disability studies
scholar, Vice
Chancellor Rosa serves a national leadership rows for
organizations that promote access and wellness for
organizations including the vice-chair of the muscular
dystrophy — Muscular Dystrophy Board of Directors. It
is a great, great honor to present to you Dr.
Christopher Rosa. (Cheers and applause)
» DR. CHRISTOPHER ROSA: Thank you. Thank you. Good
evening, everyone. What a beautiful night for a
graduation! I know that you have all been pretty tired
by this time of the year, and you are probably tired of questions. But if you will
indulge me, I would like to ask you one last question,
particularly since I now realized that the Henry
Viscardi School lass of 2017 is both loud and proud.
(Cheers and applause) So please, if you will answer
one question for me, is the 2017 Henry Viscardi School
graduating class in the house?.
(Cheers and applause) I was hoping you would say yes
. (Laughter)
It would have been terribly awkward.
(Laughter) It is really my honor to be
here and I thank you so much for inviting me to share
this remarkable moment with you. This milestone moment
and all of your lives through this remarkable journey.
I am so humbled to be in your presence. I am in the
higher Ed business, and at CUNY, we have 25 campuses and
every year we are fortunate enough to have 25
graduation or commencement ceremonies, end of this year I
did five. So this would be my sixth commencement
ceremony this year and I can tell you that none means more
than the one I’m able to share with you tonight.
(Applause) And, hopefully, by the end of my
remarks, you will appreciate just why that is. I have been participating
in commencement ceremonies so much that I have kind of
earned a reputation for it around my university. In
fact, I have actually earned a nickname. I am here
with my dear friend and colleague Charmaign
Worthy he was a director of student activities.
What is my name? »: The singing Vice Chancellor.
» DR. CHRISTOPHER ROSA: Now the reason I’m called the
singing Vice Chancellor as it turns out, I have tried
to work in a song during each of my commencement
addresses. And it is really kind of a cheap tawdry
kind up trick and at a place like this, I would never
even think — boom boom, let me hear say
hey oh , hey oh
oh, boom boom, let me hear say hey oh, hey oh, boom
boom, let me hear say hey oh, hey oh that was pretty
good. Let me hear you self give yourself a round of
applause. (Applause)
It is true, loud and proud, and you guys have a
tremendous reason to be proud. The reason why this
particular graduation ceremony means so much to me is
because of your stories and the fact that in many ways
I feel as though your stories are my stories. I was
not fortunate enough to go to the Henry Viscardi School
School, but I am really proud of going to public school
in New York City in Queens. I am a graduate of Francis
Lewis high school. (Applause)
Thank you. Where I was in special
education throughout my bore skiers at
Francis Lewis. And I felt it was a warm and loving
environment and I was fortunate enough to be a first
generation IDESA — IDEA kid and I think all of you know
with the individuals with disabilities education act
is the federal law, which guarantees all of you, all
of us a free and appropriate and equally
accessible education as individuals with disabilities.
And when I started school, the IDEA didn’t
necessarily guarantee anything. and it took parent
advocates and teaching faculty to embrace and wrap
their arms around the IDEA, and to make sure that it
fulfilled its promise four thousands and thousands of
young people with disabilities. And I benefited from
the advocacy of wonderful parents, parents and
guardians like those who are assembled here today. And
please, let’s give them a round of applause.
(Applause) And in the course of my high
school career, I experienced significant medical
complications. I have Muscular Dystrophy and I would
encounter very often students from Viscardi who had
medical appointments, at social gatherings, at community
gatherings and there was something always special
about Viscardi kids, and it was always hard for me to put
my finger on as a high school student, but I was always
envious of them. They had something unique and
something special. They had an intrinsic sense of pride and a
strength in their identity that I had not seeing
in anybody else my age with a disability. And more
than that, they were fiercely proud of their school
and the sense of community that was engendered at
that school. And I only realized later on that my
envy was because of a longing, a longing to experience
what you got to experience here at Viscardi, a
community that is built around pride in your identity as
individuals with disabilities, that is built upon
an ethic of advocacy and a true grit that allows you
to support each other and each and every one of you,
never to give up. And that is something with which all
of you should be incredible proud. I didn’t
encounter a community like that until I got to college. It
took me graduating from high school and going to
college at CUNY before I found a community that wasn’t in
touch with their sense of pride and their larger sense
of community. This is a public a service announcement
portion of my dress. (Laughter)
Where I make a stream pitch to those of you who are
interested to come to CUNY, but we are very proud of
being the nation’s largest public urban university
system. We enroll more than half a million students in Half
a million students mean that we enroll more students at
CUNY than people reside in the City of Boston. So we
are big and among the most vibrant aspects of the
learning community are a very proud community of more
than 9000 students with disabilities who are actively
remaking the face of our university. They are
redefining who gets to go to college and our notion of
who gets to participate, and more than that, they are
redefining the notion of college itself and what it
means, and what a diverse community at a college means.
And I am so proud of them. And for those of you with
an inclination, this is where I recruit you. I would
be proud, so proud to have you join us at CUNY. I was
fortunate enough to be a student there, and it gave me
everything that I cherish. It allowed me to meet
lifelong friends, to earn a career, and it was a
university that believed in in me that hired an alumnus
and entrusted them with the opportunities of more than
half a million students, including those with
disabilities, and I am so proud of that.
The best thing about my experience at college is that
it allowed me to claim my heroes , to look for role
models, people who had set an example to which I should
aspire and to which we should all aspire. And I am
really proud to say that one of those heroes is John D.
Kemp. (Applause) I knew John long before I ever
met John. As a disability studies scholar, I
studied the American disability experience and a lot
of my research is in disability as a social movement
and disability as a culture. And John’s influence
is woven throughout the narrative that is our narrative,
our history, the American disability history
experience. He has played a seminal role and a pivotal
role in the creation and the ultimate passage of the
Americans With Disabilities Act, one of the most
far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation that was ever
enacted, and it is the core of our hope of the notion
that ultimately, we can all work together through
advocacy to create an America of equal access, opportunity,
and justice for all, especially Americans with disabilities. And I only got
to meet John years later when we became colleagues in
the same space as educators trying to create higher Ed
access and opportunities for individuals with
disabilities. And I remember when I first met John, I
was really, really nervous. Because John was sort of like the Pope. You no? It is
like this larger than figure who you really admire,
but you are terrified to meet and I remember meeting him
and being so anxious and wondering about whether or
not I would say the right thing. But he was so warm
and wonderful, and has been so good to me as a mentor
and I am very proud to call him my mentor, my
colleague, and my friend. Thank (Cheers and applause) When I was growing up, my
mentors were much closer to
home and I was very, very lucky to have come across
through my shared experience with neuro-muscular
disability, a mentor who changed my life. He is a
mentor who is a Viscardi alumnus and that is Judge
Capeea. We are roughly the same age. I am better
looking. (Laughter)
But we are roughly the same age, but Rob is a few
years ahead of me is school and I was so fortunate. I
didn’t know many other individuals with disabilities
let alone other people with neuro-muscular disabilities
and I was always able to look ahead to him a few years
down the road to get a sense of the role model that I
needed to be in order to succeed. And everywhere he
rent, Rob blazed a path and I looked long toward his
example when he blazed a trail at law school. I looked
to him to help me to navigate the world of politics and
governance as he took the lead as a community leader in
government in his community. And my spirit soared,
like all of you, when he was elected and he became remarkable mentor and a
remarkable friend. He is the type of friend who tells
you the tough stuff, sometimes the stuff that you are
not ready or willing to hear about yourself. But he
does it out of love and everybody should have a friend
and a leader like Rob in their life and I am grateful
for his presence in my life. (Applause)
And your formidable responsibility is to emerge as
the heroes for successive generations of Viscardi
students. And based on reading your stories and
hearing your stories, you are so well-prepared for that
task. You will go out and you will blaze paths that
are distinctively your own. The legacy that you leave
here at Viscardi is truly remarkable. What you have
accomplished here, what you have given to your schools
community, what you have given to each other is etched
in the history, in the memory of this institution, and
in the hearts of you and your classmates and every
member of the faculty and the mistress in here. And
all of us who are your biggest fans. You are poised to
change the world. You are so well-prepared prepared to
take the lead as leaders in your community and leaders . And I
wanted to take a moment, a personal privilege to
talk to you a little bit about employment and your
readiness for employment. There is important work for us
to do, whether or not you are formerly compensated for
it. But people like John and Rob have taught me the
value of pursuing work, the intrinsic dignity that is
rooted in work, and you are so tremendously well
positioned to enter the world of work on your own terms, to
the best of your ability, and thereby remake workplaces in
our American society and our American culture in your
own images. And there are four things that I think you
have gotten an abiding appreciation for from your
experiences here at Viscardi that make you poised to leave
and poised to work. And I just wanted to take a moment
just to share those things with you. First of all
like me, most of Viscardi graduates tend to stand
out a little bit in a crowd. I don’t know if you have
noticed, but we tend not to look alike. Certainly,
not like the average person in a crowd. And I
remember when I was in high school, that bothered me to no
end, it bothered me the stairs from other people. I
would be like take a picture, it will last longer.
(Laughter) But it wasn’t until I started
pursuing work that I realized that there was a real
power in those stairs and that you own the power to
transform that into to tap into the power to elevate
your brand. A friend told me Once upon a time that if
they are going to stare anyway,, you might as well
be a star. (Applause) And each and every one of you
are superstars. You are rock stars. So I urge you
to take your difference and take the stairs and turned
it around and tap into the power and that moment and
use it to get their attention and keep their
attention because let me tell you, I work with I have a mean
students at CUNY in a really tough job market. Half
the battle is getting someone’s attention. You have
it, whether you want it or not.
(Laughter) So use it to your advantage.
Use it to demand and to make it seem like a natural that
you belong as part of the new American workforce.
The second thing that you have learned is time
management and time for all of us is very precious and
I know time means something to the graduates of
Viscardi that is different than most people in our
community, in our culture appeared time mean something
different for me too. You become masters at time
management. It takes us longer sometimes to achieve
the same things the other Americans achieve so we have
to be masters at managing our time, at managing our
lives in order to fit everything in.
Employers will tell you that the biggest challenge
among their staff is to get them to respect and utilize
time, to be efficient in the use of time, and to use
your time in empowering and meaningful ways. And you
have written the book about that. You have that all
over any prospective candidates for employment. So tap
into your expertise around time management.
Creativity is something that is most valued
in the new American workforce by
employers. Who is more creative venue? When you think
about the solutions that you have devised, the
accommodations that you have devised to perform your
activities of daily living, to thrive in and out of the
classroom, that is innovation; that his ingenuity and your
ability to tap into those experiences and to tap into that
creativity is exactly what modern American employers
are looking for. So I urge you to tap into that. And
more than anything else else, tap into your grit, your
true grit and your determination. Your failure to
give up, your unwillingness to yield, even
under the most daunting circumstances. Certainly, that is inspirational
to me and to anyone who has watched
your journey. But it is way more than inspiration. It
is a life lesson. It is a life skill, and it is
something that will serve you well, remarkably well throughout
the years, and it will give you a competitive advantage
over people who are competing against you who have
no idea of your strength strength, and have no idea about
your tenacity. And those four things will make a
difference. They will make you successes. So now you
are only a few minutes away from earning your diplomas
— O my goodness! (Laughter)
And from exiting those doors empowered as Viscardi
graduates, poised to take your rightful place among
leaders in our community. As you do that, I urge you
to hold the door open for the generations of Viscardi
students that will follow behind you. That is all of
our obligation and that is your obligation. And that
is the most powerful way that you can get back to this
institution that mean so much to everyone in our
community, but especially to all of you. So
congratulations to the class of, 2017! Go out there
and change the world! And thank you for all that you
have given us, congratulations. (Applause) » ANGELO ZEGARELLI: Okay. We
are getting to that time time. I would like to invite
all of the graduates to come up to the stage to receive
their diplomas. (Cheers and applause)
Mr. Kemp, Ms. Daley, Dr. Rosa, please, join me in the
presentation I have the honor to present the
class of 2017 candidates for their diplomas in
course By the powers vested
in me by the Trustees of The
Henry Viscardi School, the Mandamus
of the Board of Regents of New York,
and the affirmation of the faculty, I
herewith confer upon you the diploma in
course of its officers, and I
assign to you all the rights,
privileges and responsibilities
pertaining hereto, and I welcome you to
the community of scholars.
Please come forward as your name is
called and receive your diploma and
have your academic tassel turned as a
symbol of your graduation.
. (Cheers and applause) Christopher G Alan.
(Cheers and applause)
Hunter M. Barker. (Cheers and applause) Exactly ! Setelo John Cole.
(Cheers and applause) Isaiah S. Cudjoe.
(Applause) .
(Cheers and applause) Alexa Diyarza.
(Cheers and applause)
Emma N. Greenfield.
(Cheers and applause) Angela L. Lawson.
(Cheers and applause)
Patrick C. McCarthy. (Cheers and applause) Marcus David Montanez Jr. .
(Cheers and applause) Destini Mitchell-Murray.
(Cheers and applause)
Felix A. Perez. (Cheers and applause) Ariel Rampersad.
(Cheers and appl ause)
Kristian N. Rosado. (Cheers and a pplause)
Nerivette Santiago. (Cheers and applause) Samuel A. Tavarez.
(Cheers and applause)
Leonard Tobie.
(Cheers and a pplause)
Alexa Marie Williams. (Cheers and applause) Those are our 2017 graduates
of the Henry Viscardi
School! I would like to invite our Student Council
President up to the stage, Destini Mitchell Murray.
(Applause) She came right back down to
the crowd. Destini is
going to join me for a special presentation. I heard
her voice. She is on the way. On behalf of
the Henry Viscardi School and our Student
Council President, we would like to offer a gift to
Dr. Rosa for coming tonight to speak with us. Just
a little special token of our appreciation. Thank you.
(Applause) I know our school guidance
counselor is very excited that Dr. Rosa is here with us
today. I’m sure she will get his number.
(Laughter) Okay. At this time I would like
to introduce and
bring up Mr. John Kemp for some closing remarks.
» JOHN D. KEMP: » ANGELO ZEGARELLI: , sorry,
Jeanette Glover is going to come up to give out the
Heartfelt Teacher in Education Award. I skipped her.
» JEANETTE GLOVER: Okay. It is always a pleasure for
me to give this award because I just — I think
teachers rock. (Applause)
They don’t get enough praise for all that they do
because none of us could do anything or be what we are
today without teachers. They are just extraordinary.
(Applause) Teachers open our eyes and our
minds to the true greatness of life and show us
that there are no limits to what we can achieve. My
example that I always carry in my heart is Anne Sullivan. If those of
you who remember, she was an extra new
teacher for though — for a child who was deaf and
blind to. And at that time people put those children
aside. That child became and is and was Helen
Keller who became an author a lecturer, the power
of a teacher. This is a very special moment
in our community. It is our opportunity to recognize
and celebrate the unwavering dedication and
commitment of a very special teacher in our school. Sydney Hook who was an
American philosopher of education is
quoted as saying — everyone who remembers his own
education, remembers teachers, not methods and
techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational
system.” the Heartfelt Teacher in Education Award is
presented to a teacher who is selected for this honor by their peers. There
is a whole voting system and candidates are recommended
for this particular award and then there is voting by
the faculty to select one individual to receive it each
year. This special recognition not only is just an
acknowledgment of the person, but there is also
additional supports for more resources and other
enhancements for the classroom program. I would like
to tell you a little bit about tonight’s recipient.
She is a wife, and mother, a grandmother she has four
grandchildren and she travels quite a bit too Texas and
Virginia to visit her family. She loves completing New
York Times crossword puzzles, and she is the resource
for her coworkers when they are stuck on a particular
clue, they cannot figure out what to do, and she always
has the answer. Through example she reminds us to take
care of ourselves and our health by walking every day,
rain or shine she is out there walking around getting
in her steps. She has a great laugh and a wonderful
smile that is radiant and it lights up her face and can
lift the spirits of anyone. She is a graduate of a
Delphi University, and has been part of our school
community for 26 years. This individual began as a
substitute teacher and then she became a teacher
assistant and eventually was hired as a math teacher.
This teacher is described as incredibly conscientious,
hard-working, dedicated and diligent. She knows all
the tricks to make all the challenging subjects of math
for her students easier than she could ever imagine and
to master. Andy Rooney who was a writer for radio and
CBS television said, “Most of us end up with no more
than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have
thousands of people that remember them for the rest of
their lives.” Carolyn Phillips, or students love you,
we love you, and we give you rave reviews. We will
always remember you. We recognize you and we honor you
with the 2017 Heartfelt Teacher in Education Award.
(Cheers and applause)
» CAROLYN GLOVER: My kids, I except this award and I
am truly speechless, but I just want to say that here
in Viscardi, we are a team. When I
don’t know something or I have a problem,
there is always a colleague to help me out. And I
just, for all of us, thank you! We don’t work alone.
We are together for our kids! Thank you!.
(Cheers and applause)
» ANGELO ZEGARELLI: Isn’t this just the best night of
the year? And it is because of you, great students!
You make it so wonderful, so congratulations! I invite
our guests on the stage to move to the audience to view
our class of 2017 slideshow. In addition we ask that
all guests remain in their seats at the conclusion of
the slideshow until our graduates have exited the
gymnasium. We hope that you will also join us at a
fabulous dessert reception next door! Students, you
are officially graduates of the Henry Viscardi School!
YAY!