RANDOLPH — Randolph Academy celebrated its 11 graduating seniors June 23 as dozens of teachers, staff, administrators, board members, family members and classmates cheered them on.
Five seniors at its Hamburg campus in an afternoon ceremony and six at its Randolph campus in the early evening received their diplomas. New York State Regents diplomas were awarded to all but one of the graduates, who earned a local diploma.
Superintendent Danielle Cook led the festivities, along with campus principals Laura Osinski, of Hamburg, and Dr. Mary Pauly, of Randolph.
“It’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child,” said Cook, welcoming the families and friends of those in attendance. “Today, we’re here to celebrate our graduates – and their villages.”
The keynote speaker for both events was Jason Henry, a supply chain director with ConEdison, a former NYS Assembly legislative aide and, later, NYS Department of Education lobbyist and Chief of Staff.
Henry is the son of Ruth Henry, a Randolph Academy board of education member since 1996. He has overcome a disability of his own — a genetic, degenerative vision condition known as retinitis pigmentosa — throughout his distinguished career. Having found success in life despite his disability, he related to today’s graduates who have all overcome their own challenges to reach this milestone.
“As you enter this next chapter, continue to persevere,” Henry advised the new alumni. “It might take you a little longer than others to accomplish a task or reach your next goal — and that’s okay.”
In closing his remarks, Hamburg Campus Senior Class President Ryan Hackford called upon the district’s motto quite nicely as he advised, “What I’ve learned here is that this is truly a place ‘where promise grows’ – if you let it.”
The district’s graduating Randolph Campus seniors include:
Irving Burkhardt, from Portville Central School District, plans to pursue a managerial position with a national restaurant chain.
Aubrey Moss, from Yorktown Central School District, plans to attend Westchester Community College and pursue a veterinary career.
Ethan Pierce, from Gowanda Central School District, plans to pursue a trade industry job in welding and plumbing through Job Corps.
Gia Scott, from Dunkirk Central School District, plans to enter the workforce in cosmetology.
Richard Westley, from Pioneer Central School District, plans to enter the workforce as a mechanic.
Kayin Ziolkowski, from Falconer Central School District, plans to enter the workforce with the goal of becoming an entrepreneur/business owner.