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From the moment “Pomp and Circumstance” began playing on the overhead speakers, an air of celebration and joy filled the auditorium for the Southern Westchester BOCES’ Therapeutic Support Program Intensive Moving Up Ceremony.
During the June 16 graduation, which took place at Pocantico Elementary School, 14 students from Mara Ivkosic and Karen Walker’s fifth- and sixth-grade classes were recognized. The children and audience members alike smiled as they reminisced about the past year at school.
“We are very proud and very excited for our students,” said Principal Jessica Walker of the children who sat in the front row. “But we are having a hard time saying goodbye.”
She noted that throughout the year, they have worked hard, grown academically and made new friends. While there will be many challenges ahead for them as they enter middle school, Ms. Walker said, she knows that they will flourish in their upcoming adventures.
During the ceremony, students shared their “Hero Speeches” – words they had written to honor people who are their heroes. The students spoke about their parents, grandparents and other family members who take care of them, make them feel safe and happy, and show them how to be responsible.
Students from both classes took to the stage to sing “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars. The song’s lyrics depict friends being there for one another to help whenever one has trouble in life.
The teachers presented each student with their certificates and awards, congratulating them on a year of achievements. Principal Walker and SWBOCES Director of Special Services Lisa Schuchman shook their hands, commending the work since September and wishing them well in the next chapter of their lives.
Here is a list of the graduating students and the awards that they received:
Mrs. Ivkosic’s Class:
Jordan Baldwin – Excelled in Computer; Friendship and Good Citizenship Award
Nathaniel Davis – Excelled in Math
Cory Eulin – Overall Academic Improvement
Patrick Gettler – Most Improved in Reading; Friendship and Good Citizenship Award
Ajay Gonzalez – Most Improved in Literature
Gregory Tompkins – Excelled in History
Mrs. Walkers’s Class:
Alvaro Alvarez – Most Improved in Reading
Jasmine Doley-Figueroa – Good Citizenship Award
Michael Espinoza – Excelled in Science
Arween Hernandez-Baez – Excelled in Writing
Miguel Lopez – Most Athletic
Yeison Parra – Most Creative
Joseph Pirrotta – Excelled in Art and Music
Elyjah Williams – Academic Achievement in Math