PHS grad 1Editor’s Note: The following information was provided by the Peekskill City School District.

On Sunday, June 25, Peekskill High School held its annual commencement ceremony as the crimson and blue gowns of Peekskill’s 185 graduates filled the Paramount Theater.

Colleges and universities accepting PHS Class of 2017 members include, but are not limited to: Fashion Institute of Technology, Johnson & Wales University, New York University, New York Institute of Technology, PACE University, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology and multiple SUNY, CUNY and community colleges as well.

The ceremony kicked-off with remarks from Mistress of Ceremonies Arianna Hurtado, followed by a performance by the Peekskill High School City Singers.

Next, Principal Arthur spoke, noting the students’ efforts leading up to the joyful occasion.

“On behalf of myself and the entire Peekskill High School faculty, I congratulate the Class of 2017,” Arthur said. “Your presence today is an acknowledgement of and a testament to the fact that you have achieved a major accomplishment in your life.”

Valedictorian Brittney Pauta and Salutatorian Nia Robinson
Valedictorian Brittney Pauta and Salutatorian Nia Robinson

Following Arthur’s comments came words of wisdom, praise and congratulations from student speakers, including Salutatorian Nia Robinson, Valedictorian Brittney Pauta and Student Council President Ryanne Taylor.

In her speech, Robinson spoke about the unique diversity Peekskill possesses.

“I am thankful to Peekskill High School for giving me opportunities which made me appreciate the amount of diversity we have in our schools,” Robinson said. “I have been shown that we are all so different, yet still have this common ground that brings us all together. It is a true melting pot.”

Pauta spoke to her class about the community of support she received during her high school years and the friendships she made during her time at Peekskill schools.

“Although we are all heading down different paths, don’t ever forget where we came from,” Pauta said. “Do not forget your cultural roots, your teachers, your family and the people who have helped you along the way. Stay humble and thank everyone who has helped you reach this point in your life.”

phs grad 7Pauta concluded her graduation speech by thanking her classmates for the times they shared together.

“Thank you to the graduates in the Class of 2017, for creating many special moments together that will turn into one beautiful memory,” Pauta said.

Before the ceremony concluded, Interim Superintendent for Schools Dr. Lorenzo Licopoli, who was joined on stage by PHS graduates Anari Ray and Erika Mendez, made his remarks, which included commentary on a careful observation he made earlier that day.

“I think the decorations on the caps this year are the best I’ve ever seen,” he said. Licopoli then continued his speech with some words of advice before congratulating the graduates.                                         .

“Today, as I listen to all the speeches, it is clear that you are an extraordinary class…I say to you go forth, be an instrument of peace and humanity by being yourself and being courageous. My heartfelt congratulations are extended to you on your graduation from Peekskill High School.”

As the graduates left the building, many gathered for photos with the friends and family members who waited outside the theater with flowers and balloons.

When asked how she felt about her accomplishment, PHS graduate Emily Czerwinski replied that she was happy to be finished with her high school career.

“Graduating is, in the simplest terms, an absolute relief,” Czerwinski said. “I feel ready and excited to take on the next chapter in my life—headfirst.”

See below for a complete list of the Peekskill High School Class of 2017.

PHS Class of 2017
Leandra Alicea
Carlos Andrade
Oswald Annang
Jada Anthony
Sugery Arita Amaya
Kerin Arita Amaya
Toshonia Bailey Jones
Elexsis Baisley
Shadeja Barker
Nicholas Barnes
Kian Bell
Jerry Best
Prince Boateng
Essence Boyd-Roberts
Leyona Brito
Brianna Brown
Terrance Brown
Cortez Burris
Vincent Camacho
Luis Carrasquillo
Anthony Castro
Mercy Chacha Gallego
Karlos Chamba
Brandon Charles-Leston
Fausto Chillogalli Matailo
Edwin Chuquimarca Deleg
Vina Coachman
Christopher Conklin-Mann
Julio Cruz R Edith Cruz
Brianna Curry
Emily Czerwinski
Joseph Dabbs,Jr.
Sheldon Davis
Shenece Davis
Crishan De León Cardona
Luis De Paz
Jamila Desir
Joseph D’Souza
Sergio Duarte
Nicholas Dunwoody
Julio Erraez Arias
Orlando Estrada
Erika Farez
Randy Farez
Christopher Fauntleroy-Calderon
RH Elizabeth Fernandez Fermin
Jessica Fields Briana Flores
Glenny Flores Flores
Yaro Gaddy-Waller
Marcus Gaines,Jr.
Carlos Galindo
Ty-resse Gibbs
Ally Gibbs
Marlon Gomez
Daniel Gonzalez
Jessy Gonzalez Cordova
Symone Graham
Georgina Gray
Dayanna Guapisaca Nasqui
Elvis Guerrero
Sandy Guevara
Matthew Guzman Jimenez
Tania Guzman
Marin Keri Harriott
Dominique Haviland
Jake Hayward
Aldaine Heaven, Jr.
Christopher Hernandez
Brian Hernandez
José Hernandez
Matthew Hernandez
Phillip Hester, II
Nyrie Holliman
Arianna Hurtado
Jordan Illescas Pintado
Paulina Inga-Crespo
Kiwaun Irizarry
Ivan Iza
Autumn Jacobs
Mariah James
Victor James
Sade Jefferson Hanson
Carlos Jeton Lazo
Cheyeanne Johnson
Ta’Tyana Johnson
Jayson Joseph
Nestor Lassic Jr.
Henser Lázaro Nova
Birch Lazo-Murphy
Brian Lehning
Sara Lido
Jenny Lojano Chasi
Angelica Lugo
David Macas Ordonez
Jonathan Maldonado
Prince Marsh
Luis Martinez
John McCrae
Jaznia McCrae
Olivia McIntosh
Jenae McLean
Naieka McTurner
Erika Mendez
Alyssa Mendola
Iman Mickens
Serena Miller
Karla Mogrovejo Quezada
Cristian Molina Clavijo
Jennifer Monge
Carly Moran
Briana Moran
Carlos Nazario
Rahemah Nuri
Mario Otero Garcia
Jahzmine Parker
An-Nisaa Patterson
Ricky Patterson
Brittney Pauta
Jamilette Perez Bermeo
Jasmine Petrocine
Jose Pimentel Pacheco
Madeline Quezada
Milton Quezada
Luis Quezada
Bryan Quezada Vasquez
Jeremy Quinche
Diandra Quinn-Stanger
Joseph Rampersant
Anari Ray
Juan Reyes
Elise Ricciardi
Wendy Rivadeneira
Orellana Aaliyah Rivera
Brenda Rivera
Samantha Robinson
Nia Robinson
Rhondre Robinson
Nikia Robinson Smith
Monica Roca Delgado
Deanna Rodricks
Merlyn Rodriguez Corcino
Kevin Rodriguez Serrano
Steven Rosa
Steven Ruedas
Andy Saiteros Pauta
Wendy Salazar Lemus
Edwin Sapatanga Macao
Maria Saquipay Peralta
Keyshon Sarvis
Josh Von G-clef Satur
Donasha Scott
Shadayia Scott
Alexandra Semple
Alana Serrano
Devon Sherman
Kayla Slaughter
Jalynn Smith
Samantha Smythe
Marquize Smythe
Elisia Solis
Sade St. John Culberson
Ginett Suarez
Donald Taylor
Ryanne Taylor
Andrew Terrell
Kaitlyn Thornton
Mehki Todd
Brandon Torres
Jaylen Travis
Nassaa Turnbow
Samantha Veras
Cindy Villatoro Alfaro
Shonica Wagner
Tiriq Wagner
Sarah Walker
Luke Warmbrand
Malachi Williams
Savion Williams
Kayla Wilson
Dainia Wilson
Aliyah Young
Tamia Young
Nicole Zayas