Middle school students at SWBOCES’s Irvington location move up

Milestone marks a ‘time to reflect’ as high school lies ahead 

principal by flag at ceremonyEighth-grade students in Southern Westchester BOCES’ Therapeutic Support Program at Irvington High School are ready for the next chapter in their lives. In a touching moving up ceremony, students were joined by their families as they celebrated the completion of their middle school journey.

Principal Alberta Grant-Johnson began the ceremony by playing the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” while welcoming everyone to the ceremony.

gift bags for graduates“I’m excited to recognize the high school class of 2028,” said Principal Grant-Johnson. “You would be shocked at how fast it goes. We have enjoyed seeing the eighth-grade class progress academically and socially. This is really a time to reflect. You’re going to blink, and the next thing you know they are in the next phase of their lives. I look forward to seeing all of you recognize your potential and continue to advocate for yourselves.”

Students Brandon Aguilar-Palestina, Ayesha Asif, Jacquelyn Bell, Samantha Brewster, Tiago Munoz, Andre Richardson, and Noah Samchalk were recognized for their hard work. Staff members each took a turn telling stories of memorable moments they shared with the students and describing what makes each one so unique.

Ms. Chamberlain described Ayesha as her sweet girl.

student by graduation screen“I’ve seen her grow. I learned how smart she is. She has ambition, and I believe she is going to do great things in life,” said Ms. Chamberlain. “She’s funny. She knows how to make you laugh. I’m going to miss her.”

Jacquelyn was described as being creative and was noted for coming into her own. Samantha was noted for being expressive, friendly, outgoing, and inclusive. Tiago was recalled for being comedic.

“This young man took me by surprise. At first he was quiet and shy. Boy was I wrong,” Ms. Ereditario said of Tiago. “I’ve come to know and adore this young man. He's a hard working and dedicated student. If he's walking down the hall, everyone knows him and jokes with him. He’s kind, caring and eager to please. His favorite holiday is April Fools Day, and he’s always trying to pull a fast one. Tiago, you got my attention by saying something silly. We haven’t stopped joking and laughing since. Always reach for the stars.”

Brandon was described as personable, Noah as responsible, and Andre as inquisitive.

Principal Grant-Johnson concluded the ceremony by thanking the families for their support.

“I appreciate the partnership with all of you, helping us help your children reach their potential,” she said. “Please know that we are always here, and we are really excited to hear about how these students do after moving on.”

A compilation of the students singing “A Sky Full of Stars” played in the background as the students joined their families to celebrate their accomplishment. Each student also received a gift and enjoyed their party that followed.