Twenty-two students were celebrated in a joyful graduation ceremony at the Jesse J. Kaplan School on June 14. Principal Julie Larsen addressed the standing-room-only crowd of parents, teachers, classmates, and administrators from Rockland BOCES and component districts.
“Today is their day,” she said. “I hope that you have an overwhelming sense of pride, because we are so proud of each of these students.”
Those gathered had an additional cause for celebration.
“It is a historic day for students with disabilities,” noted Rockland BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Mary Jean Marsico. “Governor Cuomo has restored $90 million in funding, because of the voice of this community.”
Urging families to continue their advocacy, Dr. Marsico continued, “Our community needs our community.”
Students outfitted in green caps and gowns shared personal messages of gratitude.
“I’d like to thank my brother, my parents,” said Joseph Lopez.
Scott Edwards expressed his thanks, adding, “I love you, Mom and Dad.”
Graduates received their diplomas from their home district representatives and State Senator David Carlucci helped to present special awards.
The Class of 2013 will be departing Kaplan for new horizons as they transition to adult programs run by Venture, ARC of Rockland and other agencies.
Congratulations to the Jesse J. Kaplan Class of 2013: Knight Badu-Nimako, Jr. (South Orangetown), Linus Boafo (South Orangetown), Ruben Charleus (East Ramapo), Gina Donovan (East Ramapo), Scott Edwards (Ramapo Central), Paul Joseph Greene (North Rockland), Courteney Hoeneveld (Clarkstown), Arielle Levine (Clarkstown), Joseph Lopez (Tuxedo), Jacob Rapaport (East Ramapo), Adam Reid (Monroe-Woodbury), Amanda Rivera (South Orangetown), Jennifer Robertson (Nyack), Albad Rocha (South Orangetown), Jonathan Sacchitello (Mount Pleasant), Christina Lynn Sancimino (North Rockland), Malik Sanders (Nyack), Rivka Sigal (East Ramapo), Steven Siniscalchi (Lakeland Regional), Gabriella Southren (Ramapo Central) and Kelsey Walsh (South Orangetown).