Graduates Leave Rye Lake High School with Good Advice

Graduates Leave Rye Lake High School with Good Advice

In a special ceremony to mark their departure from Rye Lake High School’s Therapeutic Support Program, the Class of 2018 was given some valuable advice as they make their way into the world.

“The journey of our students has been a long, windy path filled with obstacles and triumphs,” said Principal Scott Kaufman to graduates Michael Kinlaw, Russell Casey, Emily Cruz, David Bryant, Kaylynn Gonzalez, Angel Alvarado and Patrick Rosario.

“Those who sit here today have demonstrated the resilience, grit and patience to have met the life-changing milestone of moving up and graduation,” he added.

The ceremony was also a chance to recognize three students moving up from the middle school to the high school. They included Kenny Harris, Joshua Tryon and Christopher White.

The Rye Lake campus is like a “family,” said Mr. Kaufman. “At times we laugh together, we play together, we challenge each other, we argue with each other, but most importantly, we are there for each other when we need to be.”

He asked the graduates to take a look around the room, at their teachers, fellow students and family members.

“This is your village. These are the people who praise you when you do the right thing and who hold you accountable when you’re not making the mark. You are lucky to have people who will do both.”

He had some sage advice for the graduates, too. He told them to do what is right over what is easy, to smile when they meet other people, to say please and thank you. When making a promise, he urged them to follow through and to live within their means.

“If you do what you love and work hard at it, you will do well,” he said.

As each student was called up to receive his or her diploma, several teachers used the opportunity to speak highly of them. Many said how proud they were of the students and their success in the program.

Psychologist Dr. Rachelle Kritzer said it had been her pleasure to work with graduate David Bryant, who achieved the highest GPA in the graduating class and was honored at the recent Carroll F. Johnson Scholarship Awards dinner.

“David has a strong internalized value system that guides him in his everyday decisions and enables him to be a positive role model to his peers,” she said.

Following graduation, she said that David plans to pursue further vocational training in the area of auto mechanics at Rockland Community College. He already has earned student certification from The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in the areas of brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine repair, and maintenance and light repair. He has been a student of the Automotive Technology Program at the BOCES Center for Career Services for the past two years.

Guidance Counselor Cristina Tompkins spoke about the determination that graduate Emily Cruz had displayed during her time at RLHS.

“She never lost sight of her goal to graduate high school and now here she stands today, a high school graduate, as well as being accepted to Westchester Community College,” she said.

“Emily, continue to believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside of you that is greater than any obstacle.”