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Back to Communications Home

Albany High School Class of 2012 celebrates graduation

 

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 24, 2012) -- Princeton University-bound Albany High School valedictorian Seamus Daniels on Sunday afternoon congratulated his peers for defying misconceptions about their school by demonstrating excellence in academics and athletics and having a strong sense of community.

 

Daniels was speaking to the 428 members of Albany High’s Class of 2012, who celebrated graduation with family and friends at the University at Albany’s SEFCU Arena. Members of the Class of 2012 were accepted at more than 170 colleges and universities.

 

Both Harvard University and Princeton wanted Daniels (pictured at right), but he chose Princeton. Salutatorian Mackenzie Honikel, also accepted by a host of schools, will attend the State University of New York at Binghamton.

 

Daniels told the graduates their success “epitomizes the true Albany High School, a place of higher learning and cultural enlightenment.”

 

“For four years, we have been confronted by the popular misconception that Albany High is a failing institution with underperforming students,” Daniels said. “However, each one of us here today is a testament to the success of Albany High School.”

 

“We deny the preconceived notions about our school. In fact, it is these notions that motivate us as students and teachers to work that much harder.”

 

Click here to read Daniels' valedictory address. To see a collection of photos from the day, visit our Photo Gallery.

 

Daniels also referenced classmate Tyler Rhodes, saying, “We came together as a community and a family to mourn the loss of a beloved friend and teammate.”

 

Rhodes, a popular student who was stabbed to death on April 30, 2011, would have graduated this year. His family accepted a diploma for him at Sunday’s commencement.

 

Superintendent Raymond Colucciello, Ed.D. delivered a keynote address peppered with good advice in the form of a rap song he composed in consultation with some Albany High students.

 

In closing his valedictory, Daniels quoted Martin Luther King Jr. and congratulated his peers.

 

“We have overcome the misperceptions about our school and are ready to go out and take on any challenges that stand in our way,” Daniels said. “We are all more than capable of achieving success, wherever the future may lead us, and we have been well-prepared and motivated by our time at Albany High."

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to successfully compete in the global community by providing an academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents, students and the community. The district serves about 8,700 students in 15 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

         
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