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Byram Hills Graduates Class Of 2014

Alyaa Chace and Lily Cigale are two members of Byram Hills' latest graduating class. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Joseph Brigante and Aaron Brodsky, two members of the Class of 2014. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Helena Zhang and Kara Zaborowsky. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Salutatorian Andrei Isichenko Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Valedictorian Stephanie Ding Photo Credit: Sam Barron
The Byram Hills graduating class enters. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
The Byram Hills concert choir performs. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
The Byram Hills Class of 2014. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
New York City firefighter Tom Sullivan kept tabs on the class of 2014 after an act of kindness in the aftermath of 9/11. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
A student receives his diploma at the Byram Hills graduation. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Byram Hills' Class of 2014 is ready to meet the challenges of the world.

Byram Hills High School held its graduation ceremony Tuesday night, June 24, at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College.

"We are graduating," salutatorian Andrei Isichenko said. "I want to thank everyone in this auditorium. The year 2014 seemed so distant and so far off. I thought it would be the year we'd have flying cars."

Isichenko joked that his class put the "pro" in procrastination and beat the college application process.

"As a prominent hip-hop artist noted, we started from the bottom, now we're here," Isichenko said.

Valedictorian Stephanie Ding talked about the support graduates received from their family and their Byram Hills extended family.

"We would not be here without the support of those who care," Ding said. "These connections will last a lifetime, especially since we can stalk each other on Facebook."

Ding said Byram Hills has allowed them to be equipped for any obstacles they face in the future.

"Have faith in yourselves and your abilities," Ding said.

Byram Hills High School Principal Chris Borsarsi showed the class how an act of kindness when they were in kindergarten went a long way.

The seniors started kindergarten on Sept. 4, 2001. A week later, the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. The next day, the kindergartners put peanut butter and jelly sandwiches inside paper bags with notes inside and sent them to first responders at ground zero.

They reached firefighter Tom Sullivan, who was clearing debris at ground zero. Sullivan grew emotional at the simple act of kindness and still has the notes today. Sullivan sent each student a stuffed animal and regularly kept tabs on the Class of 2014.

Sullivan received a standing ovation when he was recognized at the graduation ceremony.

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