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.
of the Class of 2012 were accepted at more than 170 colleges and
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
“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.”
to read Daniels' valedictory address. To see a collection of photos
from the day, visit our
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.
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
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