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Albany High School Class of 2017 graduation:

A great day to be a Falcon!

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 25, 2017) -- Albany High School valedictorian Jacob Citone on Sunday urged his classmates to think big, think bold, stand up and speak the truth to those in power.


Citone, who heads to SUNY Binghamton in September, addressed the 506 members of the Class of 2017 who gathered to celebrate graduation with family and friends at the Times Union Center.


“It takes guts to challenge the system and courage to stand upon one’s convictions. But despite whatever forces out there try to shut us down, we have shown that we are ready to take on the status quo. By continuing to embody Albany’s motto, assiduity, defined as ‘a great and constant attention,’ we can set out to accomplish anything,” he said.


Click here to read Citone’s full remarks.


Also addressing the Class of 2017 was Bowdoin College-bound salutatorian Emily Ha, who discussed the broad meaning of success.


“Success can be found not just in life’s greater events, but in everyday places. Do not take these for granted,” Ha said.


Click here to read Ha’s full remarks.


Class president Isabella Higgins, who will attend SUNY College at Geneseo, also spoke.


Higgins said that Albany High taught her priceless life lessons and helped her find herself, and that her classmates have helped improve the community’s image the school.


“I am here to proudly say that this class has help to diminish the stigma and paint Albany High for what it really is, which is a school that is exploding in character,” she said.


Click here to read Higgins’ full remarks.


Acting Principal Dale Getto noted that the Class of 2017’s goodbye to the school was a throwback to earlier days of student life.


“You played outside at recess in your early elementary years, and about a month ago you begged me for a field day. From that, Senior Swim was born. A ritual that will go for years to come! You learned to play instruments in around fourth grade, and I think some of you woke up on the last day of school and just wanted to play jazz … so you greeted us at the scan day and throughout the courtyard,” Getto said. “You finger-painted in kindergarten and again during your senior year when you chose to lease Albany High on Craig’s List!”


Click here to read Getto's full remarks. 


Interim Superintendent Kimberly Young Wilkins, Ed.D. encouraged the graduates to live in the moment and be present.


“Breathe. Take a look around you. This all for you, this is all about you. Look at what you have accomplished. Enjoy this moment. Remember this moment. Be present,” Dr. Wilkins said.


Click here to read Dr. Wilkins' full remarks.


Board of Education President Sue Adler urged each student to measure their success by being part of a community, connecting with others and caring for others.


Click here to read Adler’s full remarks.


Congratulations to the members of the Class of 2017 – this year's graduates were accepted at more than 150 colleges and universities throughout the country!


Click here to see a Facebook photo album from the day. (You don't need a Facebook account to view the photos. A window may display the text, "To see more from Albany City Schools on Face


The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves more than 9,600 students in 17 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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