Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Class of 2022
Honored at 152nd Commencement Exercises
BAY RIDGE — Members of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Class of 2022 took part in the historic Academy’s 152nd Commencement Exercises on Sunday, June 5th, 2022, 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 2022 Valedictorian Isaac Nasimov delivered a powerful address at the Commencement highlighting the importance of receiving a well-rounded education through academics as well as student involvement. Nasimov spoke of his own personal Adelphi journey (dating all the way back to Lower School!), during which he made sure to truly experience Adelphi by becoming an active member of the Academy’s many extracurricular activities while maintaining academic excellence. He joined the Student Advisory Board in 9th grade and remained on the board for the entirety of his high school career, developing strong leadership skills from an early age. He used those skills to earn the title of Associate Editor of The Adelphi Oracle in his senior year, as well as to moderate the popular Brain Games Club. He was inducted into Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn’s Chapter of the Quill & Scroll International Honor Society for High School Journalists in his junior year and was a key member of the Academy’s Journalism Club. Where Nasimov truly shined, however, was on stage as a member of Adelphi’s Theater Arts Program, for which he appeared in 11 shows during his time at Adelphi. During the Commencement exercises, the talented singer performed a moving rendition of Frank Sinatra’s classic song “Fly Me to the Moon” that brought many in attendance to tears.
Among the prestigious awards Nasimov received at the Commencement was the Herbert W. Scott Award, named after a beloved Math teacher and presented to Nasimov for excellence in the study of Mathematics; the Anna Gilmore Fuller Award, named for a beloved English teacher and presented to Nasimov with scholarship as the prime consideration; and 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. Nasimov was also proud to receive 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. He also received special awards sponsored by Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, State Senator Andrew Gounardes and City Councilman Justin Brannan.
Nasimov will be attending Pace University in the fall to pursue his dream of becoming an ocular surgeon. Earlier this year, he completed an internship that allowed him to shadow esteemed NYU-Langone ophthalmologist Dr. Alexander Aizman.
“That experience definitely furthered my desire to pursue a career in the medical profession,” he said. “I got to see how every single day you’re helping people.”
In one of the afternoon’s most endearing moments, Nasimov was completely surprised when his father, Dr. Emil Nasimov, was announced as the ceremony’s guest Commencement speaker. The surprise helped make the day even more special for the Nasimov family, as Isaac’s mother and sister — Middle Schooler Svetlana — were also in attendance. Dr. Nasimov delivered motivational remarks about the importance of discipline and hard work in the pursuit of any chosen career.
An inspiring address was also delivered by Class of 2022 Salutatorian Yura Izachik, who thanked members of the faculty and administration who helped make the Adelphi experience so special throughout the years. Izachik took full advantage of the opportunities placed before him as an Adelphian, becoming a strong leader of his class as well as the entire student body. He too served as a member of the Student Advisory Board and, like Nasimov, co-moderated a club — Adelphi’s Trivia Society — as a way to engage Middle and Upper Schoolers after school. He also served on the Stage Crew as a member of Adelphi’s Theater Arts Program, operating the lights for the end-of-year musical production, Adelphi Love.
Among the prestigious awards Izachik received at the Commencement were the Dr. Edwin N. Beery ’27 Award, inspired by the loyal dedication, wise leadership and achievement of Dr. Beery and presented to Izachik for exemplifying those qualities and working for the betterment of Adelphi; 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. Izachik also received a Community and School Service Award, and a special award sponsored by Councilman Brannan.
A key member of The Adelphi Oracle, Izachik was also inducted into Quill & Scroll in his junior year and served in a leadership role in his senior year. As Co-Production Manager, Izachik meticulously laid out pages for the newspaper after school as part of Journalism Club. He received the Margaret A. Lowrie Award, named for a beloved English teacher, for his excellent work with the Oracle.
Izachik will be attending St. John’s University in the fall, where he hopes to pursue a degree in business.
“I wish everyone exciting beginnings and unforgettable memories,” he said. “Remember to stay true to yourselves and be the best that you can be.”
Classmate Matthew Buono was proud to receive the Sara Schau Memorial Award, dedicated to the administrative secretary who served the Academy from 1977 to 1997 and presented to her for service to the Academy in the highest degree; as well as the Comptroller Student Achievement Award, sponsored by New York State Comptroller the Honorable Thomas P. DiNapoli and presented to an outstanding student who has excelled academically and has also shown leadership potential by volunteering time to the school or community; and a special award from Councilman Brannan.
Buono, who joined Adelphi in the 6th grade, was an active member of the Theater Arts Program, performing in nine productions. He will attend DeVry University in the fall, where he hopes to earn a degree in project management.
“Thank you to everyone for guiding me and helping me become the person I am today,” he said. “I learned to trust the process and to always believe in myself. I love Adelphi and it will always be in my heart.”
Classmate Maxelle Cohen received a number of special awards and honors at the Commencement. Among these was the Alumni Association Award, presented to the outstanding member of the graduating class for service to the Adelphi community in the highest degree; the Mildred Johnston Award, named for a beloved English teacher and presented to Cohen for excellence in the study of English; the New York State Attorney General Triple C Award for demonstrating outstanding “Character, Courage and Commitment” at Adelphi; the Community and School Service Award; and a special award from Councilman Brannan.
The proud Quill & Scroll member, who was also inducted in her junior year, was also a recipient of the Margaret A. Lowrie Award for her outstanding contributions to the Oracle, for which she served as Managing Editor. Cohen also 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.
Cohen proudly served on the Student Advisory Board, co-moderated Adelphi’s Trivia Society, worked tirelessly on the newspaper as a member of Journalism Club, and served as assistant to the director during the musical productions Adelphi Strong! and Adelphi Love. She will be attending Pace University, where she will pursue a degree in education with the long-term goal of earning her PhD.
“So many teachers over the years have influenced me, and I want to influence others the same way I was influenced,” she explained. Cohen also has some important advice for younger Adelphians. “Be passionate and know what you want to do,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to speak up because you can change a lot just by using your voice.”
Her classmate Timothy Jordan received 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 Jordan for overcoming personal odds to achieve in life skills. He also received several merit certificates in various subjects, as well as the special award sponsored by Councilman Brannan.
A talented artist, Jordan had several works published in the Academy’s award-winning art journal The Adelphian and hopes to pursue a career as a film director in college.
“I’m looking forward to becoming a director,” he said. “But first I’m going to finish my graphic novel. I’m writing and illustrating it myself. Maybe one day I will direct a film based on it too. I like being a one-man show!”
Class of 2022 member Musabikha “Misa” Khayriddinova was pleased to earn several prestigious honors at the Commencement. These included the New England Society History Award, sponsored by the New England History Society and presented to Khayriddinova for excellence in the study of History; the American Citizenship Award, sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and presented to Khayriddinova for possessing the qualities and characteristics the Academy hopes to instill in all of its students; the Community and School Service Award; and special awards from Congresswoman Malliotakis and Councilman Brannan.
Khayriddinova, who also served as Associate Editor for the Oracle, was inducted into Quill & Scroll in her senior year and worked on the newspaper during weekly sessions of Journalism Club. She also performed in Adelphi Strong! and Adelphi Love. She will be attending New York University in the fall, where she hopes to earn a law degree. Ultimately, she dreams of becoming a judge.
“I love the news and journalism, and I like watching mystery programs that feature psychological profiles of criminals,” she said. Looking back on her time at Adelphi, Misa said she appreciates the Academy’s unique approach to learning. “Students get to explore themselves in this environment,” she said. “Adelphi keeps students focused and motivated to excel.”
Her classmate Maksim Li also played a key role in the Oracle, serving as Co-Production Manager in his senior year and earning the Margaret A. Lowrie Award for his outstanding contributions to the newspaper at the Commencement. He spent countless hours working on the Oracle as a member of Journalism Club and was inducted into Quill & Scroll during his sophomore year.
Li was also proud to receive the Les Finkelstein Memorial Award, dedicated to the memory of Adelphi’s longtime athletic director and presented to Li for superior athletic achievement in all areas of physical education; as well as a special award from Councilman Brannan.
Li will attend LIU-Brooklyn in the fall, where he will pursue a degree in finance. He advises his fellow Adelphians not to hold back when it comes to their interests and abilities. “Don’t be afraid to show yourself,” he said. “And definitely try to start becoming a role model early on.”
In addition to a number of merit certificates in various academic subjects, Class of 2022 member Isabella Matone was proud to receive the New York State Attorney General Triple C Award and a special award sponsored by Councilman Brannan. A Quill & Scroll inductee in her sophomore year, Matone served as Entertainment Editor for The Adelphi Oracle in her senior year.
“I’m the first one to get that title,” she said proudly. “It’s amazing because it shows that I worked hard.”
Matone will be attending George Washington University — her “dream college” — in the fall and plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice. She has some important advice for those who are seeking success at Adelphi or in the professional world. “Keep going no matter how many times you get knocked down,” she said. “It’s not just about the destination, but how you get there.”
Her classmate Richard Pignataro was the proud recipient of several notable awards at the Commencement. Among these were the Charles Abaffy Award, named after a dedicated teacher, department chair, adviser and friend and presented to Pignataro for outstanding achievement in Social Studies; the Comptroller Student Achievement Award; and a special award sponsored by Councilman Brannan. Pignataro also joined his parents in accepting the Outstanding Parent Award, presented to a parent of the graduating class who shows ongoing support and dedication to the school community.
Pignataro, who was inducted into Quill & Scroll in his sophomore year, earned the title of Senior Reporter during his senior year and was an active member of Adelphi’s Journalism Club. He also performed in several musical productions during his time at Adelphi as a member of the Theater Arts Program, including Adelphi Pop!, The Adelphian Masquers’ 5 Year Anniversary Show!, Adelphi Strong! and Adelphi Love. He is excited to be attending Brooklyn College, where he hopes to explore a career in medicine. His advice to future graduates comes from his own experience at Adelphi. “Keep going and concentrating on something you like because if you keep doing what you like and do it well then you will eventually be recognized for it,” he said.
Classmate Isabelle Zak received several prestigious awards during the ceremony as well. These included the President’s Award for Educational Achievement, signed by the President of the United States and presented to the outstanding member of the graduating class who has shown outstanding growth, improvement, commitment and intellectual development; as well as special awards sponsored by State Senator Andrew Gounardes and City Councilman Justin Brannan.
A devoted member of the Oracle, Zak was inducted into Quill & Scroll in her junior year and earned the title of Fashion Editor in her senior year. She was an active member of the Journalism Club, through which she was able to explore her interests in photography and page design. Zak also served as choreographer for Adelphi Love.
Zak will be attending Pace University in the fall, where she hopes to pursue a career in fashion design. “I want to be a fashion stylist with a background in marketing,” she said.
Ms. Romanos remarked at the Class of 2022’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 2022 possess such a vast array of talents and interests that will certainly ensure success as they enter the next phase of their education,” she said. “Their individual and collective experiences as Adelphians helped mold them into the fine young adults we see today, and 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