UAIS graduates look to their past to celebrate the future
UAIS graduates look to their past to celebrate the future
Posted on 06/07/2017
Graduates on stage standing up and applaudingUtica Academy for International Studies students reflected over four years of accomplishments as they prepared for life beyond graduation.

"After weeks of counting down and saying 'it'll get better' - it finally did. Yet, we will find ourselves missing this time," said UAIS commencement speaker Shirley ElFishawy. "UAIS is simply a microcosm for the real world we will now venture into. It has not only allowed us to achieve our dreams, but it's given us the courage to develop even bigger ones."

Throughout the evening, speakers honored the 87 graduates of UAIS for their work to pursue an International Baccalaureate program.

"In my inaugural year at UAIS, I have learned that you are a determined and tenacious group," said principal Shaun Greene-Beebe.  

Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns told graduates that the school's blend of a rigorous course of studies through a liberal arts education will serve them in their future educational and professional lives.

"Thanks to your time here, you will always look at the world through a unique lens," Dr. Johns said. "Forming the foundation of this view is your incredible success - you lead the competition."

Board of Education President  Gene Klida told graduates their experiences at UAIS will serve as a foundation for their future.

"The path you take from this point forward will be as different and unique as the one you encountered here," she said. 

Program Director Justin Spear shared the highlights of this year's class:
  • Combined GPA of 3.98
  • An average SAT score of 1280, representing the 89th percentile of college-bound students
  • 47 valedictorians, one salutatorian and 78 UCS Academic Scholars
  • 17,000 hours of Creativity, Activity and Service
  • Scholarships totaling $10.6 million
  • Tens of thousands of dollars for national and international charities and organizations. 

"You have pursued the most rigorous high school curriculum the world has to offer," Spear told graduates. "Despite the challenges you faced or because of them, the numbers that represent what you have achieved on this journey are remarkable." 

Student speaker Lisette LeMerise told students that they have traveled well beyond the super heroes they followed as children or the literary characters they studied in school.

"You have life beyond paper, beyond ink on a page, and I daresay you are better than any story anyone has ever read," she said. "As you lead your life beyond UAIS remember that it is a not a new chapter, because that would imply you are a character in a story. This is a new experience, and you have the opportunity to mold yourself as you see fit without limitations."

The UAIS Class of 2017 is listed below:

Mackenzie Alexis Barch 1 3 6 SCL
Ashley Lynne Beatty 1 3 4 6 SCL
Brandon Robert Benard 1 6 MCL
Paige Brigitte Benard 1 3 6 SCL
Matthew Wilhelm Benard 1 6 CL
Joshua David Bentley 1 3 4 6 SCL
Cara Kathleen Berg 1 6 SCL
Amela Borovina 1 6 CL
Aidan Nathaniel Botkin 1 6 CL
Carmella Rose Boykin 1 3 4 6 SCL
Victoria Pearl Branch 1 3 4 6 SCL
Ashley Elizabeth Brys 1 3 6 SCL
Bryce Madison Cerget 1 3 6 CL
Kassandra Marie Christodolu 1 3 6 MCL
Mackenzie Leigh Connell 1 3 4 6 SCL
Giuliana Antonina Cusumano 1 3 6 MCL
Jonathan Van Dang 1 3 4 6 SCL
Sam Joseph de Jesus 1 6 CL
Damaris Derecichei 1 4 6 SCL
Candy Patricia Casauay Dialogo 1 3 4 6 SCL
Gasser Ahmed El-Mahrouky 1 6 CL
Shirley Marie Elfishawy 1 3 4 6 SCL
Jakob Charles Emrich 1 6 SCL
Aber John Ibarreta Espinoza 1 4 6 SCL
Kaelyn Ann Fife 1 3 4 6 SCL
Rebecca Filimon 1 6 CL
Ziyaneh Sarah Ghaderpour Taleghani 1 4 6 SCL
Ina Gjoka 1 3 4 6 SCL
Jessica Lauren Gougeon 1 3 4 6 SCL
Elisa Maria Greige 1 3 6 SCL
Allison Ann Griffiths 1 3 4 6 SCL
Gavin Anthony Gudobba 1 6 SCL
Bradley Harrison Hall 1 3 4 6 SCL
Daniel Henry Harrison 1 3 6 MCL
Shaheer Yousuf Hasan 1 3 6 MCL
Corinne Felecia Herrmann 1 3 4 6 SCL
Jessica Lyndafaith Hone 1 3 4 6 SCL
Jeffrey James Horbatiuk 4 6 SCL
Benjamin Alexander Hume 1 4 6 SCL
Sahil Anand Jha 1 4 6 SCL
Allyson Ruth John 1 3 6 SCL
Kelsie Rose Johnston 1 3 4 6 SCL
Sarandeep Kaur 1 3 6 SCL
Nikhita Khosa 1 3 4 6 SCL
Katie Louise Kirkum 1 3 4 6 SCL
Thea Kassandra Kirsch-Mangu 1 3 4 6 SCL
Katerina Kitsios 1 3 4 6 SCL
Megan Veronica Kujawa 1 4 6 SCL
Lisette Gwendolyn LeMerise 1 4 6 SCL
Joana Lepuri 1 3 4 6 SCL
Sophia Marie Lorenzetti 1 6 MCL
Zuzanna Luiza Lutrzykowska 1 3 4 6 SCL
Persida Macinic 1 3 6 MCL
Julia Irena Malewicz 1 3 4 6 SCL
Rithin Rajan Manimaleth 1 3 4 6 SCL
Brigitte Elizabeth Manquen 1 3 6 SCL
Alexander Mihailovic 1 3 6
Mirna Mika 1 3 6 MCL
Tori Ann Motloch 1 6 MCL
Anthony Joseph Neubacher 1 3 4 6 SCL
Kerrigan Rae Oleskie 1 6 CL
Joshua Michael Pack 1 6 CL
Hannah Paul 1 3 4 6 SCL
Pietro Benedetto Pellerito 1 4 6 SCL
Kelly Lynn Penzin 1 6 SCL
Sydney Marie Quagliato 1 3 4 6 SCL
Mikayla Rae Rzeppa 1 4 6 SCL
Matthew Douglas Schepke 1 6 MCL
Martin Valent Smoger 1 6 MCL
Adam John Smolinski 1 3 6 MCL
Patrycja Anna Sobierajska 1 3 4 6 SCL
Felicia Rose Soderberg 1 4 6 SCL
Alyssa Kathryn Stackpole 1 6 CL
Leah Kate Stampfer 1 3 4 6 SCL
Vanessa Nicole Steele 1 6 CL
Roksolana Sudyk 1 3 4 6 SCL
Collin Joseph Syler 1 3 4 6 SCL
Kevin Albert Tactac 3 6 SCL
Pragya Thakur 1 3 4 6 SCL
Ava Amelia Thielman 1 4 6 SCL
Febin Abraham Thomas 1 3 4 6 SCL
Annette Renata Varga 1 5 6 SCL
Alexander Michael Verbrugge 1 3 6 SCL
Heather Nicole Wagner 1 3 4 6 SCL
Hunter Avery Willing 1 6
Emily Lynn Wrobel 1 3 6 MCL
Jennifer Monica Yoo 1 3 4 6 SCL

1 IB Full Diploma Candidate
2 UCS Advanced Placement Scholar
3 National Honor Society
4 Valedictorian
5 Salutatorian
6 Seal of Global Language Candidate
GRADUATION HONORS:
Summa Cum Laude (SCL) GPA 3.9 and Above
Magna Cum Laude (MCL) GPA 3.7 - 3.89
Cum Laude (CL) GPA 3.5 - 3.69