Albany High celebrates the Class of 2018
536 grads marks the school's largest class in more than 12 years
ALBANY, N.Y. (June 24, 2018) -- Albany High School valedictorian Max
Heller on Sunday reminded his classmates that Albany High taught them
lessons that will last a lifetime.
Heller, who heads to Brown University in
September, addressed the 536 members of the Class of 2018 who gathered
to celebrate graduation with family and friends at the Times Union
Center. This year’s graduates, members of Albany High’s largest
graduating class in more than 12 years, were accepted at more than 180
colleges and universities throughout the country.
Check out our Facebook page for the first
round of pictures, along with this
second Facebook album containing additional shots.
You can also view the senior slideshow that played prior to the ceremony
“We aren’t spoon-fed opportunities at Albany
High,” Heller said. “We aren’t groomed to appear ‘perfect’ college
applicants who do all of the right things. We are trained to be ready
for a world where things don’t always go our way, where we have to work
with people who come from different backgrounds and often have different
goals in mind. We are taught a lesson that will last longer than any
other: how to take the hurdles before us in stride and push on, more
determined than ever.”
He ended with, “You can’t hide that Falcon
Read Heller's full comments here.
Also addressing the Class of 2018 was SUNY
Geneseo-bound salutatorian Gail Cabahug, who urged her classmates to be
open to new opportunities and write their own success story.
“Because in this story,” Cabahug said, “you are
your own main character and your own writer. So as you move on, write
yourself a good ending but more importantly, don’t forget to write
yourself a super fun journey along the way.”
full comments here.
Class President Shafiyq Grady, who will attend
Barry University, also spoke. Quoting Albert Einstein, he said the only
source of knowledge is experience. He cited lessons he learned at Albany
High, and urged his classmates to stay true to themselves and learn from
“No matter what the experience is, negative or
positive, there is always something you can take from it,” Grady said.
“People tend to look at overcoming adversity as an accomplishment rather
than a lesson. Yes, you overcame an obstacle but what did you learn in
the process? What did you take from this experience that will prevent it
from happening in the future?”
full comments here.
First-year Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams told
the graduates they were “drippin’ with FINESSE,” an acronym to which she
assigned each letter an important attribute for success in life.
“And finally, be empowered – to go out and use
the knowledge, attitude, and skills you have gained through your
education and collective support to change the future and make a
difference in the world around you,” Adams said. “In the words of
T’Challa, the marvel hero from the movie Black Panther, ‘What happens
now determines what happens to the rest of the world!’ This is YOUR
Read the superintendent's full
Board of Education President Sue Adler urged the
graduates to never stop working together to change the racial inequities
that exist in America.
“Twenty years ago, civil rights leader James
Farmer urged: ‘The fight for freedom is combined with the fight for
equality, and we must realize that this is the fight for America – not
just black America but all America,’” Adler said.
“Graduating Class of 2018, we believe in you,”
she concluded. “And we believe that together you can change our country
for the better.”
Read Adler's full comments here.
The mission of the City School District of Albany
is to work in partnership with our diverse community to
engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide
the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district
students in 18
elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood
schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as
well as other innovative academic opportunities for students,
including four themed academies at Albany High