Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Class of 2023
Honored at 153rd Commencement Exercises
BAY RIDGE — Members of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Class of 2023 took part in the historic Academy’s 153rd Commencement Exercises on Sunday, June 4th, 2023, 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.
Class of 2023 Valedictorian Arielle Vayner delivered a memorable address at the Commencement highlighting the importance of balancing a strong commitment to academics with maximizing the high school experience through involvement in extracurricular activities. Vayner served as a columnist for the student newspaper, The Adelphi Oracle in her senior year. She was inducted into Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Chapter of the Quill & Scroll International Honor Society for High School Journalists and regularly attended the Academy’s Journalism Club. Vayner also served as moderator of the popular Brain Society and as a member of the Student Advisory Board.
Among the prestigious awards she received at the Commencement was the Dr. Edwin N. Beery ’27 Award, inspired by the loyal dedication, wise leadership and achievement of Dr. Beery and presented to Vayner for exemplifying those qualities and working for the betterment of Adelphi. She also received 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. In addition, Vayner received 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; and the Alumni Association Award, presented to the outstanding member of the graduating class for service to the Adelphi community in the highest degree. Several members of Adelphi’s Class of 2022 joined Director of Academy Operations Mr. Albert C. Corhan to present this special award, including Misa Khayriddinova, Isaac Nasimov, Yura Izachik and Maksim Li. Vayner also received a 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.
Vayner will be attending Pace University in the fall, where she will pursue a degree in optometry. “The year went by so quickly,” she said. “I made so many great memories here and I met so many people that turned out to make such a big impact on my life.”
A powerful address was also delivered by Class of 2023 Salutatorian Meleny Lopez, who reflected on her own Adelphi experience and what made it so special. Lopez became involved in a number of extracurricular activities during her time at Adelphi, including Journalism Club, Weight Training and Brain Society. She also lent her creativity to the Theater Arts Program, helping to design the set and serving as a member of the Stage Crew.
Among the prestigious awards Lopez received at the Commencement were the Sara Schau Memorial Award, dedicated to the administrative secretary who served the Academy from 1977 to 1997 and presented to Lopez for service to the Academy in the highest degree; and the American Citizenship Award, sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and presented to Lopez for possessing the qualities and characteristics the Academy hopes to instill in all of its students. She also received a Community and School Service Award.
Lopez will also attend Pace University in the fall and hopes to pursue a degree in marketing and digital design. “I am so grateful to have been chosen to speak at graduation,” she said. “I made so many great memories at Adelphi and I will always remember unique events like the wax museum and Fright Fest.”
Classmate Antimo Buonincontri was proud to receive a very special award during the ceremony — the Eric Paul Harrison ’59 Award, which was established in 1995 in memory of a dedicated alumnus of the Class of 1959, teacher, admissions director and guidance counselor, and presented to Buonincontri for overcoming personal odds to achieve in life skills. He also received the New England Society History Award, sponsored by the New England History Society and presented to Buonincontri for excellence in the study of History.
Buonincontri plans to study nursing in college with hopes to become an EMS worker in the future. “I had a lot of experiences here and I’ve enjoyed them all very much,” he said. “My advice for others is to treat people how you hope to be treated and to always be yourself.”
Fellow graduate Khayriddin Khayriddinov received several prestigious awards at the Commencement, including the Anna Gilmore Fuller Award, named for a beloved English teacher and presented to Khayriddinov with scholarship as the prime consideration; the Les Finkelstein Memorial Award, dedicated to the memory of Adelphi’s longtime athletic director and presented to Khayriddinov for superior athletic achievement in all areas of physical education; and the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, signed by the President of the United States and presented to the outstanding member of the graduating class who embodies academic success in the classroom through grade point average and outstanding achievement.
Khayriddinov, who was accepted to Harvard University, plans to pursue a career in business administration and expand his family’s supermarket business. “I enjoyed starting and moderating Adelphi’s Table Tennis Club and taking the lead as a presenter in assemblies,” he said.
Classmate Warren Ma, who was inducted into Quill and Scroll following his sophomore year, was proud to receive the Margaret A. Lowrie Award, named for a beloved English teacher, for his excellent work with The Adelphi Oracle. Ma penned the popular “Talkin’ Tech” column. In addition, he received the Herbert W. Scott Award, named after a beloved Math teacher and presented to Ma for excellence in the study of Mathematics; the Charles Abaffy Award, named after a dedicated teacher, department chair, adviser and friend and presented to Ma for outstanding achievement in Social Studies; and the President’s Award for Educational Achievement, presented to the member of the graduating class who has shown outstanding growth, improvement, commitment and intellectual development.
Ma will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall, where he will pursue a degree in aeronautics. “I got to experience so much at Adelphi,” he said. “I became much more social through the years, and I’ve enjoyed the friends I’ve made here. I am grateful for my time with the Oracle because it taught me how to write well and share my perspective with others.”
Fellow graduate Laz Raptis was the recipient of the Mildred Johnston Award, named for a beloved English teacher and presented to Raptis for excellence in the study of English; and special awards from Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis and Councilman Justin Brannan. Raptis was also inducted into Quill and Scroll for his outstanding work as a music columnist with the Oracle.
Raptis will be attending Pace University in the fall, where he will pursue a degree in psychology. “I want to better understand the human psyche,” he said. “One day I would like to be a guidance counselor at a school so I can help kids.”
Classmate Jonathan Yarmusevich received special awards from Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis and Councilman Justin Brannan, plus certificates of achievement in music, art and physical education at the Commencement.
He will be attending Brooklyn College in the fall to pursue a degree in accounting. “I hope to own my own firm one day. My advice to others is to never give up on your dreams and to always stay positive.”
Ms. Romanos remarked at the Class of 2023’s individual and collective talents, and how they will certainly be missed within Adelphi’s halls. “The members of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Class of 2023 are unique and talented in a variety of areas. Their individual and collective experiences as Adelphians will undoubtedly ensure their success as they continue their academic journeys in the fall. I am so very proud of all of this year’s graduates for all of their accomplishments.”
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.
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Photos courtesy of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn