Jamaica High School’s graduation was held Wednesday, June 27 in the school’s auditorium.
Keynote speakers were state Sen. Tony Avella, one of many officials who fought against the school’s drawn-out closure, and Ken Cohen, regional director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who also battled the phaseout imposed by the city Department of Education.
Music for the graduation was performed by the NY String Society, directed by Stephen C. Josephs, Jamaica High Class of 1969. A number of members of the ensemble are Jamaica alumni.
The current acting principal, Enric Kendall, and retired Principal Walter Acham both spoke. Special acknowledgement was given to retiring Assistant Principal LynAnn Forger. Graduate Bibi McKenzie presented the commencement declaration:
“With gratitude to my school, with pride in my city, and with devotion to my country, I pledge:
As a graduate, to cherish the traditions of Jamaica High School.
As a citizen, to work both alone and with many to improve my city; and
As an American, to obey my country’s laws and to support and defend its Constitution.”