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Welcome the Graduating Class of 2018

graduates sit in center with parents surrounding them as they all listen to a speaker off camera
“As we leave this microcosmic society, let us learn from the mistakes of those around us, and evolve into better people.” – RCS 2018 Valedictorian Jenna Hanny

Congratulations to the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Class of 2018. The new alumni crossed the stage to graduate on Saturday, June 21.

See more photos of the 2018 Graduation Ceremony on our Facebook page.

With “Pomp and Circumstance” filling the Convention Center in downtown Albany, the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Class of 2018 slowly processed into the room of awaiting family and friends for their graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 21.

High School Principal Lisa Patierne welcomed the crowd with a story of parenting.

“The government calculated the cost of raising a child born in 2000 from birth to 18 and came up with $226,920 for a middle-income family,” Patierne said. “Talk about sticker shock.”

Parents and guardians laughed along and reminisced as the journey unfolded.

“You get a front-row seat to history to witness the first step, first word,  first date, first time behind the wheel, first time across the graduation stage and the first time going out on their own taking all the wisdom, love, and guidance you showered them with.”

Bringing the crowd out of their reverie, Superintendent Brian Bailey encouraged the audience to unleash their musical self with some group sing-alongs to ‘party anthems.’

“These songs are characterized by an unstoppable force that requires you to belt out the lyrics, at the top of your voice, with no fear of judgment, regardless of the time or the place,” Bailey said. “How powerful would you be if you could do that from this day forward; live your life like you were belting out a party anthem?”

The hundreds of voices broke out in song throughout Bailey’s speech. And he left the graduates with one final piece of advice.

“Graduates, we are going to rely on you to be the voice of our RCS community. Class of 2018 we expect you to rock the world with your song. And with that, I hope that you will all join me in one last song; ‘Na na na na…hey, hey, hey, goodbye.’”

Student musicians in the RCS Jazz Ensemble took the music up a notch with their rendition of “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band. Senior members of the High School Chorus followed with “No Day but Today” by Jonathan Larson.

Class of 2018 Salutatorian Ryan Zampella then took the stage and echoed Patierne’s earlier sentiments as he spoke to his classmates, citing the $226,920 cost to raise a child to the age of 18.

“I don’t know about you, but if I paid that much money for something, I would definitely want to get my money’s worth of it.”

He then challenged the graduates. “At this point in our lives, we go in any direction our hearts take us. However, this path might not be easy. In fact, is shouldn’t be easy. If it’s challenging, it’ll encourage you to stay motivated. To set goals and go after them,” Zampella said. “My fellow graduates, we have the potential to do anything.”

His classmate and Valedictorian of the Class of 2018, Jenna Hannay, brought her classmates along a different journey, a personal, humorous journey. Hannay told the story of her mother accidentally buying the “wrong” pens and the effect this seemly small action had on her life, giving way to her nearly illegibly small writing.

“I knew something was wrong the instant my pen touched the paper in class the next day; my lines were too thing, the amount of ink flowing from the cartridge was off,” Hanny remembered as the audience laughed. “I looked at the packaging, only to discover that she’d bought me extra fine pens… I found that writing in my large print with the extra fine pen made my lines shaky and messy. So I reduced the size of my glyphs.”

The moral of her story, “Everyone always emphasizes how important it is to learn from your own mistakes – and I totally agree – but I think it’s equally important to be able to learn from others’ mistakes.”

And, just as Zempella challenged the graduating class, Hannay issued her own challenge:

“As we leave this microcosmic society, let us learn from the mistakes of those around us, and evolve into better people.”

After the speeches, students were called to cross the stage, one at a time, to receive their official diploma. The ceremony concluded with the students moving their tassels from right to left as the crowd erupted in cheers. The lights then dimmed as everyone watched a slideshow, looking back at 18 years of fond memories of the graduates. Finally, the graduates exited the ceremony as the newest RCS alumni.

2018 RCS Graduates

  • Jenna Hannay 1 N AH MS
  • Ryan A. Zampella 2 N AH MS T
  • Griffin J. Racey 3 N AH MM
  • Yasemin Menekse 4 N A
  • Amelia L. Rossi 5 N AH MS
  • Alexander J. Higgins 6 N A
  • Druhan M. J. Gordon-Stacey 7 A MS
  • Richard E. Mosher IV 8 AH
  • Dayle B. Matott 9 A
  • Kathryn Pilhofer 10
  • Brianna A. Albright
  • Emma L. Burnett
  • Winnie E. Civill
  • Cassandra L. Contreras T P
  • Philip A. Crandall Jr. T A
  • Lauri A. DeLara N A
  • Madealyn G. Frankovic A
  • Tessa E.H. Fryer N A
  • Nancy Gamboa-Gonzalez
  • Kale D. Gransbury T A
  • Kira E. M. Heege
  • Meghan N. Helfer A
  • Sydney L. Jayapal
  • Faith M. Jones
  • John R. Manning
  • Ossian C. Mapes A
  • Michael J. Neenan Jr.
  • Meghan E. O’Connell
  • Taylor S. Pittz
  • Jean F. Polyak A
  • Elijah Porlier A
  • Cameron J. Shackelton A
  • Jasmine E. Walker
  • Chelsea Alix
  • Stephen Anthus
  • Ryan W. Balta
  • Zachary D. Bathrick
  • Jade M. Beaulieu
  • Jason S. Benn
  • Marco A. Bermejo Jr.
  • Caitlin Bianca
  • Madison M. Bidwell A
  • Daniel J. Biegel A
  • Karen R. Black
  • Nina J. Bonilla
  • Nathan T. Boomhower P
  • Brynne L. Boyea
  • Jarod Brooks A
  • Michaela E. Brown
  • Tori J. Cady
  • Colin J. Cardone
  • Cristian Carr A
  • Kyle A. Cary A
  • Spencer C. Cumm
  • Hunter Davis A
  • Thomas J. DeGraw
  • Lauren C. DeLara
  • Austin J. S. Delisle A
  • Elizabeth S. Dewsbury A
  • Katelyn P. Disorbo T
  • Michael R. Disorbo
  • Collin L. Dorsey
  • Arianna R. Duell
  • Juan F. Estrada
  • Jorden I. Feliciano
  • Destiny M. Filkins-Cinque N A
  • Noah H. Galusha
  • Jasmine M. Gladney
  • Haley L. Glassbrenner
  • Jonathan B. Happ
  • Chalonne A. Hemmings
  • Eric E. Hernandez
  • Tyler A. Higgins
  • Matthew Hildenbrand A
  • Anna Hotaling A
  • Michael J. Hotaling
  • Kahlia Y. Jones
  • Meghan E. Jones
  • Sierra D. Jones
  • Yahlia Jones
  • Kristin N. Keir N A
  • Maxwell Knaust-Wood A
  • Richard J. Koonz
  • Kyle A. Krell
  • Madison R. Leonard
  • Gunnar L. Magnusson
  • Hannah N. McCallop
  • Daniel P. McMullen A
  • Lauren E. Miller N A
  • Olivia Mittan
  • John S. Norton
  • Eldora Q. Nurrenbern
  • Emily C. O’Connell A
  • Taylor K. Olmstead
  • Austin Osterhout
  • Jessica L. Payton
  • Andrew L.J. Pierce A
  • Ryan A. Pike A
  • Anthony D. Pistritto A
  • Luciano J. Polverelli
  • Haylie P. Prior
  • Vanessa L. Racht
  • Eric J. Randio
  • Anna M. Reed
  • Marisa L. Rosario
  • Joshua Ruiz
  • Matthew R. Sabatino
  • Nicholas A. Sabatino A
  • Erica A. Salisbury
  • Daniel Sereikis
  • Francis J. Silvano III
  • Hunter B. Slingerland
  • Roman M. Soler
  • Cheyenne J. St. Pierre
  • Breann L. Stalker
  • Amanda N. Sumner A
  • Morgan A. Sumner N AH
  • Orenda Swartout
  • Alysa M. Travis
  • Christopher M. Trim
  • Mercedes A. Tyler
  • Janae A. Ubrich
  • Richard P. VanAlstyne A
  • Matthew R. Vohnoutka
  • Nicholas Vroman A
  • Haylee E. Wallace
  • Brandon M. Warnken
  • Devin Williams
  • Stephanie M. Williams
  • Kailynne D. Zafke A
  • Shi Ann Zarcone
  • Emily R. Zinkhen A