IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- The Irvington High School Class of 2017 is ready for their next chapter.
The grads received their diplomas at their commencement ceremony at Matthiessen Park on June 17.
Principal David Cohen spoke about his unique connection with the students and encouraged them to continue to find the courage to question society, trust their hearts and advocate for what they believe in.
“The Class of 2017 is a remarkable and unique collection of brilliant young minds, as well as a very special group for me personally,” Cohen said. “For the past four years, I have been incredibly impressed by the Class of 2017 and watched you all take risks and accomplish plenty. I am inspired by the future you will lead and the communities you will help shape.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kristopher Harrison paid tribute to the students’ impressive accomplishments.
“In my five years as your superintendent, I cannot remember a class with such distinction, determination, and achievement — in the classroom, on the stage, and in competition. Frankly, I’m proud," Harrison said.
Salutatorian Zoe Mermelstein reflected on the accomplishments of her peers and how as classmates they encouraged each other.
“The best thing about this class is that amid all these achievements, everyone gets along,” she said. “We are supportive of each other and can be happy for one another’s successes.”
Valedictorian Ryan Meng-Killen likened his four years at Irvington High School to his favorite book “The Lord of the Rings,” but with a different land of magic that included interesting class lessons, physical competitions, learning to debate a variety of issues, leadership opportunities, and musical art talents.
“I speak to you today as you truly are — shapeshifters, enchantresses, superhuman mutants, sorcerers, adventurers, magicians — and in light of all the adventures we’ve had together, I challenge you to write a new chapter in this story of ours,” he said. “Learn to do the things you’ve always dreamed of doing. Explore unfamiliar territory. Go out and slay your dragons. Defy the odds and add a little magic to the world.”