School News

Nora Cronin celebrates the Class of 2024

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 6/21/24

The Nora Cronin Presentation Academy Class of 2024 have completed their academic journey and look forward to the next chapter of their lives in high school. Families, friends, Nora Cronin teachers, …

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School News

Nora Cronin celebrates the Class of 2024


The Nora Cronin Presentation Academy Class of 2024 have completed their academic journey and look forward to the next chapter of their lives in high school. Families, friends, Nora Cronin teachers, staff and administrators and students celebrated the milestone of 14 graduates on Friday, June 14.

The 2024 Nora Cronin graduates include Eileen Alvarado, Abbie Alvarado, Aaliyah Dawes, Arah Farias, Melanie Flores, Alexa Gomez, Jezebel Hernandez, Kailyn Marrero, Christyn Nunez, Emily Pham, Isabella Pinzon, Sheyla Ramirez, Jamilette Santiago and Keyly Weygant.

Eileen Alvarado will be attending Kennedy Catholic High School alongside Flores, Pham, Santiago and Weygant. Abbie Alvarado will be attending Newburgh Free Academy. Dawes will be attending Our Lady of Lourdes High School alongside Gomez, Hernandez and Marrero. Arah Farais will be attending Albertus Magnus High School and Nunez will be attending John S. Burke High School alongside Pinzon and Ramirez.

The annual commencement ceremony was held at St. Francis of Assisi Church in the City of Newburgh. Parents, families and other guests made their way into the church, taking their seats, capturing photos and conversing among one another. The graduates prepared their caps, gowns and sashes in the rear foyer of the church, taking pictures and making the final preparations.

Nora Cronin Principal Dr. Tammy Barnett welcomed family and friends to the annual graduation ceremony, providing several rules to ensure that the ceremony ran smoothly for both the graduates and parents. Spanish translation for the ceremony was provided by Administrative Assistant Ada Sanchez.

The graduates made their way down the church aisle to the sound of marching music as parents watched, cheered and captured their graduates. Joining the ceremony once again alongside Barnett was Sister Yliana Hernández, PBVM, former principal and founder of the school who retired two years ago.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Denise Hernandez, Nora Cronin Class of 2022 followed by the recitation of the Nano Nagle Prayer by Nancy Farias, Nora Cronin Class of 2019. Dr. Barnett again welcomed family, friends and the graduating class to the annual commencement ceremony, reflecting on their academic achievements and journey as they now move forward to the next part of their lives.

Following remarks, several graduates came forward to speak on qualities and values of members of the National Junior Honor Society before lighting a symbolic candle. The 2024 inductees to the society include the following: Julissa Antongiorgi, Sara Bhatt, Maleiyah Clarke, Luna Frias, Dana Guevara, Joselyn Mejia, Mikela Nunez, Gia O’Brien Balarezo, Melissa Pineda, Jenifer Ramos and Alizee Vento.

Dr. Barnett and Sister Hernández then made their way to the front of the sanctuary area and presented diplomas, various academic excellence medals and certificates to each of the graduates as they were called up. Applause was heard throughout the church celebrating the success.

The list of awards as follows: the State of New York Office of the Attorney General’s Triple “C” Award for Commitment, Character, and Courage was presented to National Junior Honor Society members Eileen Alvarado, Arah Farias, Melanie Flores, and Emily Pham; the President’s Award for Educational Excellence in middle school was awarded to Eileen Alvarado; The New York State Comptroller’s Achievement Award, presented each year to a student who has excelled academically and has also shown leadership potential by volunteering their time to serve the school or community was awarded to Eileen Alvarado and Abbie Alvarado; certificates of merit from the office of New York State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson were awarded to Aaliyah Dawes, Isabella Pinzon, and Jamilette Santiago; the President’s Award for Educational Achievement in middle school was awarded to Jezebel Hernandez and Kailyn Marrero; the medal for excellence in Religion was awarded to Sheyla Ramirez; the medal for excellence in Language Arts and Physical Education were awarded to Arah Farias; the medal for excellence in Social Studies was awarded to Christyn Nunez; the medals for excellence in Science, Art and Music were awarded to Emily Pham; the medal for excellence in Mathematics was awarded to Melanie Flores; the medal for perfect attendance was awarded to Emily Pham and Alexa Gomez and the medals for excellence in Spanish and for Most Improved Outstanding Student were awarded to Keyly Weygant. The National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution Youth Citizenship Award is given to a student who exhibits the five qualities of honor, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism. This medal and certificate was awarded to Alexa Gomez. The medal for Academic Excellence is presented to the graduating student who exemplifies scholastic achievement, personal integrity and character. It is awarded to the student graduating with the highest average. This year’s Academic Excellence Medal was awarded to Eileen Alvarado. The final award of the evening was the highly coveted Nano Nagle Award, presented by Sister Hernández and Sister Laura Urbano of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin. The medal has been bestowed to a graduate since 2010, recognizing the student’s character and embodiment of the words: “To act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with God.” This year’s recipient was Alexa Gomez.

Gomez now joins the company of past alum which including Erica Jiménez (2010), Jennifer Castelan (2011), Selina Cruz (2012), Janie Bravo (2013), Graciela Bautista (2014), Giselle Sotelo (2015), Karla Gunera (2016), Ashley Leonor (2017), Jade Ramírez-Carvajal (2018) Yudiria García (2019), Karen López (2020), Katherine Huaqui (2021), Stephanie Lara (2022), and Stephanie Cruz (2023).

Nora Cronin alumna Karla Gunera, Class of 2016, spoke to the graduating class on her journey through the school and her academic pursuits, challenges and overall life experiences. “Amidst the changes and the passage of time, one thing remains constant—the unfading mark that my time at NCPA left on my heart. It was here that I forged friendships, developed passions, and crafted a personality that would aid in laying the foundation for my future endeavors. And though the landscape of my journey has changed, the lessons learned and the memories cherished continue to shape the person I am today,” said Gunera. “As I stand before you today, I am reminded of the resilience that harbors and grows within each of us—the resilience to overcome adversity, defy expectations, and carve our paths in the world. And though the road ahead may be daunting, filled with obstacles and unknowns, I am confident that each of you has learned here at NCPA the qualities like strength and courage to rise above the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. As your journey progresses, you too may not always feel like you belong, but you’ve earned the chance to be there. After all, we are all human and no one person is more deserving regardless of our racial or financial backgrounds. You should strengthen your relationships with God and surround yourself with goodness. Seek and foster friendships found in love and warmth. And, please please please do not be afraid to reach out for help from a professional if need be. Mental health problems are very stigmatized in minority cultures, but you must know you cannot care for others if you do not care for yourself first. You are worthy. You are enough. And, you belong.”

Valedictorian Eileen Alvarado delivered her final remarks to her teachers, peers and fellow graduates. During portions of her address, she paused for a moment to compose herself as she became emotional speaking about her friends, family and those at Nora Cronin who helped her on her journey.

“I would like to give thanks to God as He has blessed me to be present here today with each and every one of you. I would like to show my gratitude towards my parents, Santos and Milagro, who have sacrificed so much in order to grant me the opportunities they wished to have accomplished,” said Alvarado. “They have taught me to never give up and to always follow my dreams, no matter how big or small, as everything is possible when you put your mind to it.” My sisters were a big part of my life growing up and still are to this day. They cared for me and raised me when my parents were working hard to earn enough money to support us and for that I will always be grateful.

“I will now share a message with my fellow classmates. I am truly proud of every single one of you. Throughout your time at Nora Cronin Presentation Academy, I am certain that you have all found yourself stuck in a dilemma, in which you always found the motivation and time to put in the effort in your academic work, yearning for the satisfaction of receiving a good grade. I hope that your high school experience is filled with unforgettable memories, and remember: Your younger selves would be proud of the young women you have become and for achieving everything they once dreamed of,” Alvarado continued. “I know some days can get hard and doing simple tasks will require more effort than anticipated, but there will always be someone rooting for you, perhaps in the shadows or in clear daylight. Take the moments where you lost yourself into consideration, let them guide you through life, like lessons you had to learn on your own.”

Barnett was called to the podium once again and asked the graduates to stand. In one swift movement, tassels were moved on the caps, officially marking them as graduates. Members of the faculty, volunteers and other supporters were called to the front of the church and they along with parents and other guests raised their arms to bless the graduates. Graduates exited the pews and made their way down the aisle, with diplomas in hand and smiles abounding as they went forth from Nora Cronin.