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The Mount Vernon High School Graduation Marks Occasion ‘Like No Other’ - June 25, 2021

The Mount Vernon High School Graduation


Seniors of The Mount Vernon High School graduated Friday, June 25, in a ceremony that Principal Dr. Ronald Gonzalez called “an occasion like no other to close a time like no other, for students like no other.”

The 243 seniors had prevailed through a historic year turned upside down by COVID-19.

“Your journey has been interrupted by some of the most extraordinary circumstances ever faced by school age children in the modern era,” Dr. Gonzalez told the sea of burgundy-robed graduates on the high school’s football field. “And like the resilient, spirited children we always knew you to be, you demanded greatness.”

Speakers at the 143rd commencement exercise commended the seniors for their resilience and for what they were able to learn from the hardship the pandemic brought to Mount Vernon, schools across the country, and the world.

“We are the ones who think, the ones who act and the ones who will shape the future,” salutatorian John Alex said. “The people I see before me are the next scientists, the presidents, the astronauts, and the proud business owners of the world.”

The students did more than merely make it through. They met with remarkable success.

“We have seen the most impressive list of college acceptances we have seen in decades,” said Superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton. “So that provides evidence that the work is indeed making sense and taking root.”

“I know the future is in really good hands as you move forward,” said Board of Education President Darcy Miller.

Valedictorian Gabrielle Sylvester told her classmates not to fear failures while pursuing their dreams and goals.

“Fall forward,” she said. “Every failure is one step closer to success.”

Sylvester received another accolade during the ceremony when Dr. Gonzalez bestowed upon her the Mount Vernon Administrative Leadership Award. It was one of several honors announced. Dr. Hamilton named students Sarah Levine and D’Asia Latoya Jackson as the recipients of the Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton Award, which goes to the most improved students. New York State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow gave a $2,000 Community Leadership Award to Yessica Vasquez.

Luisa Fuentes, managing attorney with the Morris County Family Justice Center, delivered the keynote address, encouraging students to make their voices heard.

“Remind the powers that be that they work for you,” she said. “Never forget the power that you have and utilize it.”

Valedictorian Gabrielle Sylvester
Salutatorian John Alex

CLICK THIS LINK – for the entire Mount Vernon High School Graduation photo gallery the is enabled for picture download.

GRADUATION CEREMONY on FacebookLive - June 25, 2021