The Meadowbrook Alternative Program graduated nine students from its senior class on June 24.
During her commencement speech, valedictorian Brianna Ottofaro spoke about finding her self-confidence and her path at MAP.
“I urge you to embrace each other’s differences,” she said. “Not all schools offer such an advantage. No matter the path you decide to take after high school, the support we gained from our peers and teachers will help us succeed.”
Salutatorian Matthew Alexander touched on his thankfulness to the MAP teaching and support staff.
“They worked tirelessly to make sure we have a great education and are prepared for the future,” he said. “While doing this, they made sure we are actively engaged, and that we have fun while doing so.”
As a MAP graduation tradition, Principal Susan Ellinghaus invites an alumnus to address current graduates. Joseph Calvaruso from the Class of 2017, spoke about his path at MAP and the lessons he has taken with him.
“I realized I needed to make a change,” he explained. “I needed to go to MAP. I was given a second chance I so desperately needed and became the man I am today. Most importantly, it was here that I learned to never give up.”
Dr. Joseph Netto, the program’s psychologist, offered the faculty address.
“The obstacles in your path may have seemed so daunting, yet your individual perseverance allowed you to rise to the occasion,” he said. “And I strongly believe that [perseverance] is the most important lesson and skill that you have learned here at MAP. It is this individuality that will allow you to surpass mediocrity.”