Category Archives: Education

The Entertainer

Audio slideshow by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Little Rebellion

This piece is part of a series that examines how students find themselves at New Paltz.

Immediately after graduating an Italian high school, Nadia Durigon, 24, decided to follow her lifelong dream and work as an entertainer on a cruise ship. She said working on the ship helped her to meet new people and to experience the world.

Three years later, Durigon decided to attend the University of Urbino in Italy, but eventually she chose to follow another dream and go to America.

Now, Durigon is studying Communications and Media as a foreign exchange student at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She enjoys her weekends traveling around the U.S., and she plans to leave résumés at businesses in New York in hopes of working in America in the future.

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Nadia’s journey to New Paltz

Audio clip by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Little Rebellion

Listen as Nadia Durigon, 24, tells the story of how she decided to follow her lifelong dream and work as an entertainer on a cruise ship immediately after graduating high school. Three years later, Durigon decided to attend the University of Urbino in Italy, but eventually she chose to follow another dream and go to America. Now, Durigon is studying Communications and Media as a foreign exchange student at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Grads told to ‘wander’ to their destinies

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Journal News

PEARL RIVER—The Pearl River Pirate community gathered in the high school’s gymnasium Thursday for the 2011 commencement exercises.  The students wandered down the center of the room in pairs of blue and white, waving to their family members.

“Be the best you can,” said Principal William F. Furdon to the graduates, “and you decide what success means to you.”

Furdon highlighted the achievements of the class of 2011 and expressed his satisfaction with the time he spent with his students.

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Kaplan School celebrates achievements of 17 grads

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Journal News

WEST NYACK—At the Jesse J. Kaplan School’s ceremony on Friday morning, guest speaker Jessica Sirota set an example for the 17 graduating students.

“Every person in this room is a person with abilities,” said Sirota, a member of the Abilities Resource Council of Rockland.

“Down syndrome is something that I have,” she added.  “It is not who I am.”

The Jesse J. Kaplan School, an extension of Rockland BOCES, serves people ages 5-21 with developmental disabilities.  Students are offered academic and vocational instruction, and they are given support in their search for future opportunities.

“We want to give kids the same experience that their brothers and sisters get,” said Carl Fedkenheur, a teacher at the school.

Students on Friday were sent on their way with an encouraging farewell.
“No matter where you go from here,” Sirota said, “no matter what you do, keep learning.”

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19 graduate, bid farewell

Written by Charlene V. Martoni
Published in The Journal News

VALLEY COTTAGE—Rockland Country Day School is known for its intimate classes and progressive educational philosophies.  Its image was upheld at Friday’s graduation ceremony, when 19 students reminisced about their time together.

“Only you will remember this place, at this time, in this way,” said Jim Fyfe, assistant head of the school.

The students congratulated one another on their senses of individuality.  They attributed their independence to having graduated from a school that supported them and allowed them the freedom to pursue their unique interests.

“From these strong roots we really do flourish,” graduate Sarah Friedhoff said during remarks before fellow graduates and family members.

Many of the graduates addressed the audience, expressing appreciation for the small class that helped them to form more meaningful relationships.

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