By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
RAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK — For graduating seniors, the annual walk-thru tradition is a glimpse back into their own past, and for younger students, it’s a look into the future.
The Class of 2022 last Wednesday participated in the annual pre-graduation tradition, walking through each RCS school building wearing their graduation cap and gown, as students and faculty lined the hallways and cheered them on.
The ritual returned after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic that put a halt to many treasured school traditions.
“It has been absolutely magical to be able to celebrate with all of our students again,” high school principal Dr. Lisa Patierne said. “Watching our students reminisce on their journey while connecting with the staff that supported them along the way and seeing our younger students get excited about their future at RCS was truly a memorable experience and an important tradition for our community.”
“We are so proud of the Class of 2022!” Patierne continued.
The day began with a breakfast for the graduating seniors, then they boarded a bus to travel to each school in the district.
At each school the seniors were greeted by younger students, who had the opportunity to see what lies ahead in their future years at RCS, as well as teachers and staff, many of whom knew the graduates long before they donned their caps and gowns.
The event was one in a long line of end-of-year events in the school district, including the senior and junior proms at the high school, a PTA Father-Daughter Dance at A.W. Becker Elementary School, a middle school semi-formal, and performances by the bands and choruses in their spring concerts, among others.
The RCS Athletic Department and the RCS Sports Association held an awards ceremony at Joralemon Park on June 9, recognizing the accomplishments of the district’s student-athletes.
This year’s Athlete of the Year awards were given to Uchenna Uba and Ryan Southworth. Uba also won the state championship in the discus event in Division 2 in outdoor track and field.
The Coaches Award was given to Erik Chapman and Katie Pagnotta, and the Sportsmanship Award went to Nick Abrams and Mollie McFerran.
Southworth also won the Stephen McGowan Award, which is given annually to a graduating senior basketball player who has been positively affected by their time on the basketball court and plans to continue their education at the college level. The award also comes with a one-time $250 scholarship and is sponsored by the Stephen G. McGowan family.
The arts also celebrated achievement at RCS High School. Eleven students were inducted into the 2022 National Art Honor Society in a ceremony June 9.
To be a member of the NAHS, students must demonstrate dedication to their artwork, hold themselves to a high creative standard, create a positive atmosphere in the art classroom and maintain an average of B or higher in their art courses, among other requirements.
The following RCS students were inducted into the NAHS: Evan Agan, Katherine Burch, Jessica Diaz, Emerson Knapp, Nina Kozlowski, Khloe Kramer, Alivia Ortiz, Sonia Snyder, Abigail St. John and Kaitlin Strokes.
The group’s co-sponsor, art teacher Christina Wallace, said the students worked hard this year.
“Our students hit the ground running in the fall and utilized their skills and kindness to encourage art and art education in our community,” Wallace said. “I am incredibly proud of our new inductees and all of our students for their hard work and dedication.”
The RCS High School graduation will be on June 24 at 6 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, 279 Madison Ave. Tickets are not required and there is no limit to the number of attendees. At press time there were no COVID-19 restrictions in place for the graduation ceremony, and masks and virus testing were not required.
Check out more photos from the Senior Walk-Thru: