NEWBURGH – Newburgh Prep Charter High School hosted its first June graduation ceremony last Wednesday inside a full Great Room at the SUNY Orange Newburgh campus.
Friends and family were greeted by a large slide show presentation, depicting the students and faculty journey to graduation. A small contingent of teachers stood in the corner, watching, pointing and recounting the hard work that made this day possible.
Five students would soon receive their New York State Regents diploma, joining Tyler Williams and Mercedes Zapata who were the school’s first two graduates in January.
But first there were a few awards to be presented by Newburgh Prep faculty for academic achievement to outstanding students. Graduate Andrea Rosales was recognized for her achievement in History and graduate Carolina Sotomayor was recognized for her achievements in Math. Academic achievement awards were also presented to Erica Stillman for English, Jiaxin Li for Science, and Isaiah Ware-Daniels for outstanding leadership and cooperation in Physical Education and Lifelong Fitness.
And there were a few speeches of congratulations by Newburgh Prep Executive Director Thomas Fitzgerald, Interim Principal Winston Riley, and Director of Operations & Finance Russell Gilmore. Mindy Ross, President of the Newburgh Prep Board of Trustees, told graduates, "You have come so far in such a long time and truly exemplify the spirit and mission of Newburgh Prep that ‘together we make a difference.’ Throughout the past year you have developed the tools you need to succeed, and I foresee a bright future ahead for each of you!"
Graduating with a New York State Regents diploma were Sade Young, Tyron Carter, Andrea Rosales, Jovon Burks, and Carolina Sotomayor. All are residents of Newburgh.
Future plans for the five graduates include continuing their education at SUNY Orange, joining the military, and entering the work force.
Graduate Andrea Rosales recalls how Newburgh Prep changed her life’s trajectory. As a student she struggled with Global History, but her teacher at Newburgh Prep went above and beyond, she said. "My teacher worked with me after school and gave me the encouragement and support I needed to be a successful student."
"Everyone was just awesome, and I’m very thankful for this opportunity because without it I don’t think I would be able to graduate," Rosales said. She plans on working and joining the military.
Newburgh Prep is now accepting students for the summer session which begins July 9, and enrolling students for the Fall 2014 school year. Applications are available on the school website at www.newburghprep.org or by contacting the school at 845.565.4040.