The NFA Class of 2012 Celebrated Graduation Day with Freedom of Speech


There is much to be gained from a high school graduation. As a visitor at the Newburgh Free Academy 147th Commencement Ceremony on June 21, 2012 I got to witness inspired speeches by some very promising young adults delivered with poise in 100 heat. Each of them making mention of Newburgh's great accomplishments, and rallying around the common philosophy that the future is bright and failure is not an option. In the program I revisited a copy of Max Ehrmann's "Desiderata" as well as Dr. Seuss' "Oh! The places You'll Go!" A reminder that an eager child lives in every adult. And, I browsed 16 pages of awards and scholarships handed out among 582 graduating students. Each with their own struggle, their own story, their own special something.

"You are a child of the universe, no less than the tree and the stars." - Desiderata

We'd now like to share a few of those speeches, and also some great photos.. a soliloquy i think you'll quite enjoy. Kintura Williams, Cranarian Council President Regarding Newburgh Schools : "Our students receive not only a profound academic education also an in-depth cultural education, we all learn acceptance, tolerance, life skills and worldly knowledge. Ignorance is diminished (here), humility is encouraged.. we seem to have come full circle.. we are wiser ... and equipped with the skills needed to embrace our future… a league all our own that will bring light, admiration and a ubiquitous sense of pride to the Newburgh community." She went on to describe "a spectrum of colors, a whirlwind of vantage points and melting pot of opinions." She concluded with a quote by Marianne Williamson “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

the grads go marching

Christine Crea, Salutatorian – After thanking her teachers, "Life is a  puzzle…take it one piece at a time. Hard work is a price we must pay for success .. strive for the high bar that sets us apart.  Be true to yourself, be happy and enjoy life." Brianna Levy, Valedictorian – On the uncertainty of what comes next, "There will surely be obstacles – scenarios that try us in new ways. Newburgh (has a certain) society that gives us the strength and character to surpass any obstacle... Faced with hard times we have all learned to view the world through creative eyes – there is no problem we can’t solve if only we are willing to look for new solutions in the future and are willing to work together."

Acting Principal at NFA Main Campus Melissa Siegel looks on

We'd like to thank NFA for being a partner in Good News with us and extending an invite to the graduation ceremony. Special thanks to Kerry Butrick who does an outstanding job as the Media Relations contact for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. Photos Provided

Do you and your kids have something to celebrate? Contact us with your stories.