Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn Holds
149th Commencement Exercises
BAY RIDGE – Members of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Class of 2019 took part in the historic Academy’s 149th Commencement Exercises on Sunday, June 9th, 2019, inside the John Lockwood Auditorium Theatre, named for Adelphi’s founder. The new graduates are looking forward to continuing their academic careers in college and pursuing a variety of rewarding career paths. Graduates looked back fondly on their time at Adelphi and expressed excitement about the future.
Class of 2019 Valedictorian Arber Kadiu delivered an emotional address at the Commencement that demonstrated the profound impact that Adelphi’s commitment to educating the “total child” can have on students of all ages. Kadiu, referred to lovingly as a “lifer,” reflected on his long journey from a Pre-K student at Adelphi to a graduate at the head of his class. Kadiu certainly made the most of his time at Adelphi. He served as stage manager for the Academy’s winter and spring theatrical productions, was a member of the Student Advisory Board and served as Senior Editor for the Academy’s student newspaper The Adelphi Oracle. “It’s been a wild ride,” he said. “But I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve made some great memories, and now I’m hopefully on the path to achieve something great.” Kadiu will be attending Fordham University in the fall, where he hopes to pursue a degree in law and/or medicine.
Among the prestigious awards he received at the Commencement were the American Citizenship Award, sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and presented to Kadiu for possessing the qualities and characteristics the Academy hopes to instill in all of its students; the Dr. Edwin N. Beery Award, inspired by the loyal dedication, wise leadership and achievement of Dr. Beery and presented to Kadiu for exemplifying those qualities and working for the betterment of Adelphi; and the Margaret A. Lowrie Award, named for a beloved English teacher, for his excellent work with the Oracle. Kadiu, who was inducted into Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Chapter of Quill & Scroll Honor Society for High School Journalists last year, received a special Editor’s pin at the Commencement. He was also the recipient of the coveted Head’s Award, presented by Head of School Ms. Iphigenia Romanos for outstanding dedication, loyalty and principles as displayed in classwork, attendance, activities and service to the school and the community.
An inspiring address was also shared by Class of 2019 Salutatorian Anthony Iglesias. In his address, Iglesias thanked the entire staff of faculty members and administrators for their help during his years as an Adelphian and said he will always remember the lessons he learned along the way. “I’m thankful for all the opportunities Adelphi has given me,” he said. “It has molded me into a more mature, responsible and outgoing individual — someone my family can be proud of.” His favorite memory at Adelphi was receiving his class ring at a special ceremony last year. “It gave me a glimpse of a future filled with prosperity and goodwill,” he said. Iglesias will be pursuing a degree in marketing in the fall and hopes to become a realtor.
Among the prestigious awards Iglesias received at the Commencement were the Charles Abaffy Award, named after a dedicated teacher, department chair, adviser and friend and presented to Iglesias for outstanding achievement in Social Studies; and the Community and School Service Award, presented to outstanding members of the graduating class who have contributed the most to the welfare of the school community as well as the greater community during their time at Adelphi. Iglesias was also inducted into Quill & Scroll and received a special Sports Editor pin.
Classmate Natalie Fabian was also honored at the Commencement Exercises for her excellent academic work. Among the awards she received were the Anna Gilmore Fuller Award, named for a beloved English teacher and presented to Fabian with scholarship as the prime consideration; and the Adelphic Award, presented to the outstanding member of the graduating class who has contributed greatly to the growth of the Academy yearbook, The Adelphic.
Fabian, an active member of the Oracle, spent much of her senior year acting as the designated photographer at Academy events. “The newspaper taught me to be on top of my work and how important it is to meet your deadlines,” she said. She, too, was inducted into Quill & Scroll and received a special Photographer pin for her efforts.
Fellow Oracle staffer Kelly Espin was also inducted into Quill & Scroll, one of her several honors that afternoon. She was also presented the Mildred Johnston Award, named for a beloved English teacher and presented to Espin for excellence in the study of English; and the Sara Schau Memorial Award, dedicated to the administrative secretary who served the Academy from 1977 to 1997 and presented to Espin for service to the Academy in the highest degree. Espin also received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, sponsored by the United States Department of Education and the National Association of Secondary School Principals and signed by the President of the United States Donald Trump. It was presented to Espin for embodying academic success inside the classroom through grade point average and outstanding achievement.
Espin said she was surprised by the accolades bestowed upon her at the Commencement. Her favorite memory at Adelphi was attending the Fall Leadership Retreat in Colonial Williamsburg this past fall. “We learned about a specific period in history, which was interesting,” she said. “Plus, we were all grouped together and got to enjoy time with each other.” Espin is off to college to pursue a career in forensics. “I’m nervous and excited,” she said.
Weiwei “Viola” Zhao was the recipient of Adelphi’s prestigious Herbert W. Scott Award, named after a beloved Math teacher and presented to Zhao for excellence in the study of Mathematics; as well as the Morris Charney Humanities Medal, sponsored by the Bay Ridge Community Council and presented to Zhao for excellence in the study of Humanities. She was also inducted into Quill & Scroll for her outstanding layout and design work for the Oracle.
Zhao will pursue a degree in finance in the fall and hopes to eventually start her own firm in either the U.S. or China. She enjoyed challenging herself as a member of the Academy’s Chess Club. “It was my favorite club, hands down,” she said. She said she will miss her teachers and classmates, but hopes to stay in touch.
Graduate Eduard Rabayev was honored at the Commencement Exercises for his athletic prowess as well as his academic excellence. He received the Les Finkelstein Memorial Award, dedicated to the memory of Adelphi’s longtime athletic director and presented to Rabayev for superior athletic achievement in all areas of physical education; and the New England Society History Award, sponsored by the New England History Society and presented to Rabayev for excellence in the study of History.
Rabayev offered some sage advice to future graduating classes at Adelphi. “Stay positive, be confident and don’t let anything stand in your way,” he said. Rabayev said he is grateful for the growth he has experienced during his time at Adelphi. “It taught me about pride, tradition and spirit, for sure,” he said. “I’m leaving with knowledge, experience and patience.” He will be pursuing a career as a pharmacist and said he is pleased with how his senior year unfolded. “The last chapter of the book is always the best,” he said.
Classmate Yuliang Li received merit certificates in a number of subject areas, including Mathematics, Music and Physical Education. He said he will always remember Adelphi and joked that his most prominent memory was coming down with an eye infection during his Science final. “I got a good grade anyway,” he laughed. Li will major in business in college and hopes to own and operate his own international shipping business one day. “I’ll need to study a lot,” he said. “But I’m ready.”
Gulshana Abduvoseeva was the recipient of a very special award at the Commencement. The Eric Paul Harrison ’59 Award was established in 1995 in memory of a dedicated alumnus of the Class of 1959, teacher, admissions director and guidance counselor, and presented to Abduvoseeva for overcoming personal odds to achieve in life skills. Abduvoseeva also received the President’s Award for Educational Achievement, sponsored by the United States Department of Education and the National Association of Secondary School Principals and signed by the President of the United States Donald Trump, for showing outstanding growth, improvement, commitment and intellectual development.
Abduvoseeva said her favorite part of her time at Adelphi was serving as a mentor to the Lower School students. She also made her theatrical debut in the Academy’s winter production, an accomplishment of which she is very proud. “It was a lot of hard work, but it showed that I had some skills,” she said. She is looking to pursue a career in social work and will be studying psychology in college.
Graduate Winnie Hu received a certificate of merit for excellence in Mathematics, as well as the AAA Driver Education Award, sponsored by the AAA Automobile Club of New York and presented to Hu for excellence in her driver education course. Hu was also inducted into Quill & Scroll for her excellent work with the Oracle as a layout designer.
Hu will be studying business in college and hopes to work for an international trading company one day. She will always remember laughing with her teachers and friends at Adelphi. “I’m going to miss all my friends I met here,” she said. “I had such a relaxing feeling in class.”
Adelphi’s Head of School Ms. Iphigenia Romanos remarked at the Class of 2019’s extraordinary talents, which were nourished and cultivated during their time at the historic Bay Ridge school. “The Class of 2019 is a very special one, both to me personally and to the Academy itself,” Ms. Romanos said. “Not only is the class composed of talented young men and women from diverse cultural backgrounds, but each student takes with him or her a unique set of interests and skills that were developed through their individual experiences as Adelphians. I have no doubt that each of these graduates will continue to build upon the foundation of hard work instilled in them during their time at Adelphi and I wish them all the greatest success in their future endeavors.”
As the oldest private, independent, continuing, coeducational, college-preparatory day school in the borough and one of the oldest in the nation, Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, “the little school of big dreams” has been “effectively preparing young people for college, career, and life, one day at a time” for over 150 years. Founded in 1863 and located in the historic Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Adelphi enrolls students from two years of age through twelfth grade. A strong emphasis is placed on small class size, individualized attention, self-expression, critical thinking and challenging hands-on learning through Adelphi’s founding philosophy and dedication to the education of the “total child.” Adelphi students excel within a small, intimate, safe, caring, nurturing, and secure environment through Adelphi’s core values and founding principles of pride, tradition, spirit, and excellence. The student-teacher ratio is 8 to 1 and Adelphi is a New York State Regents Exempt Program with a 100% college application, acceptance and attendance rate. A founding member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, Adelphi receives its charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and has been a member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools since 1928. Ms. Iphigenia Romanos serves as Head of School.
* * *
Photos courtesy of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn