Amid a sea of smiling students and teary-eyed parents, kindergartners from Chestnut Street School and fifth-graders from Cornwell Avenue and George Washington elementary schools culminated their time in their respective schools with moving up exercises. The ceremonies encompassed musical performances from students, as well as poignant speeches from administrators inspiring students to strive as they continue their education.

Gathered in the gymnasium on June 17, Chestnut Street School Principal Amy Sullivan welcomed families, central administrators, members of the Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools John Hogan and faculty to commend the kindergartners on a year of accomplishments and wish them tremendous success as they enter the first grade.

“The children standing in front of me today have earned the respect of the staff here at Chestnut Street School,” Mrs. Sullivan said. “They have proven themselves time and time again to be upstanding citizens at this school, and they truly give me hope for a very bright future.”

Following her speech, students performed and danced to a variety of summer-themed songs, and all in attendance viewed a presentation celebrating the students’ success over the course of the year.   

At their commencement ceremonies on June 22, Cornwell Avenue and George Washington fifth-graders were lauded by family members, central administrators, Superintendent Hogan and faculty for their five years of academic achievements.

 Cornwell Avenue Principal Anthony Cali, who is heading into retirement, expressed his gratitude to the Class of 2016 and school community for an exceptional year.

“Thank you to all the students, faculty and staff of Cornwell Avenue for making my time here one I will never forget,” he said. “The Class of 2016 will always hold a dear place in my heart, as they have made notable strides as children, citizens and young scholars, and I know they will continue to do great things in life as they head to middle school.”  

Across the district, George Washington Elementary School Principal Michelle Notti stamped the fifth-grade class’s passport, inspiring them to excel on their academic journey to middle school.

“To signify each journey, passports are stamped, leaving a reminder of time spent there,” she said. “Always know that you have left your stamp on the learning community here, and the memories you have made will stay with you forever. Your journey may not always be easy, but I hope you find comfort in the words of Lao Tzu: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’”

A highlight of each elementary school ceremony was the presentation of the gold and silver Presidential Awards for Educational Excellence. These awards are bestowed upon students who demonstrate outstanding academic growth and excellence, achieve highly on the New York State reading and mathematics assessments, and continuously improve in all subject areas.

The district congratulates all students on this significant milestone and wishes them much success as they continue their academic passage as lifelong learners.  


Chestnut Street

Cornwell Avenue

George Washington