Ready for the Next Chapter: Class of 2017 Bids Farewell to EPHS

Ready for the Next Chapter: Class of 2017 Bids Farewell to EPHS

PHOTO: Steiv Shore, the top-ranked student in Elmwood Park High School's Class of 2017, delivers his valedictory address during EPHS's May 21 graduation ceremony. Click here for the 2017 graduation photo gallery.


With an audience of proud family members, friends and well-wishers looking on, more than 200 students graduated from Elmwood Park High School in a ceremony held Sunday, May 21, at EPHS Gym.

Class president Ms. Diamond Lopez, salutatorian Ms. Kassandra Babelonia and valedictorian Mr. Steiv Shore addressed their classmates during the ceremony, which began at noon and lasted approximately an hour. A video of the entire ceremony can be found here, and a PDF copy of the official program is available here.

"Become aware of what it is that stirs your heart," Mr. Shore told his classmates, "and then take that passion and influence the hearts of others."

Musical selections were performed by the EPHS Band and Combined Choirs, directed respectively by Mr. Kyle Rhoades and Mr. Michael Popplewell. 

Also speaking were District 401 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kevin M. Anderson and former Board of Education member Mrs. Cynthia Stazzone.

Board President Mrs. Mary Bruscato accepted the class gift from Ms. Lopez (a donation for a bronze tiger statue to be located in front of the school), and EPHS Principal Mr. James Jennings presided over the ceremony.


2017 EPHS graduation — Class President Diamond Lopez presents the class gift to Board President Mary Bruscato

PHOTO: On behalf of the District 401 Board of Education, President Mrs. Mary Bruscato accepts the class gift from Ms. Diamond Lopez, president of EPHS Class of 2017.


As the ceremony began, the first seniors to enter the gym were Mr. Shore, Ms. Babelonia and the rest of the Class of 2017's academic top 10 percent: Elias Arce, Anthony Bacarella, Gregory Baranovskiy, Kyle Garcia, Daniel Gomez, Alexis Gonzalez, Analise Hernandez, Yuriy Khlopas, Adrian Lach, Rocco Molinelli, Antonina Pisciotto, Sarah Ptack, Frank Stocco, Jacob Sulaski, Gabriela Sulek, Kevin Taha, Aleksandra Witkos and Jakub Zwierzynski.

When it came time for the seniors to receive their diplomas, their names were read by EPHS guidance counselors Mrs. Paige Kozyra, Mr. Joseph Kraft and Mrs. Alison Till. The ceremony ended with a tossing of the caps — some of which sported rather elaborate decorations. (See photos below for examples.)

Afterward, the new graduates hugged their loved ones, posed for pictures and enjoyed the moment — a fitting end to four years of hard work by students and parents alike.

Congratulations, Class of '17!


Photos from the 2017 EPHS Graduation Ceremony


NOTE: The following photos are also available in a slideshow format, which can be found here. All photos are by Dave Porreca, D401 web/media specialist. Click any of the photos to see an enlarged view.


2017 EPHS graduation — valedictorian Steiv Shore


2017 EPHS graduation — student procession begins


2017 EPHS graduation — students take their seats


2017 EPHS graduation — student procession continues


2017 EPHS graduation — students with decorated caps


2017 EPHS graduation — students file in and take their seats


2017 EPHS graduation — student with a decorated cap


2017 EPHS graduation — students taking their seats


2017 EPHS graduation — students with decorated caps


2017 EPHS graduation — students taking their seats


2017 EPHS graduation — students seated


2017 EPHS graduation — Class President Diamond Lopez speaking


2017 EPHS graduation — students listening


2017 EPHS graduation — Superintendent Dr. Kevin Anderson speaking


2017 EPHS graduation — sea of students


2017 EPHS graduation — Former Board Member Cynthia Stazzone addresses the students


2017 EPHS graduation — student with a decorated cap


2017 EPHS graduation — band members play


2017 EPHS graduation — band members play


2017 EPHS graduation — Principal James Jennings addresses the students


2017 EPHS graduation — students listen to Principal Jennings


2017 EPHs graduation – Salutatorian Kassandra Babelonia addresses her classmates


2017 EPHS graduation — choir members sing


2017 EPHS graduation — choir members sing


2017 EPHS graduation — Valedictorian Steiv Shore addresses his classmates


2017 EPHS graduation — seniors stand up to begin receiving their diplomas


2017 EPHS graduation — students look on as classmates begin walking to receive their diplomas


2017 EPHS graduation — student with decorated cap waits to receive diploma


2017 EPHS graduation — Kassandra Babelonia looks on as her classmates approach the dais for their diplomas


2017 EPHS graduation — student displays her decorated cap, on which she has written, "And so the adventure begins"


2017 EPHS graduation — students get up and begin their walk to the dais


2017 EPHS graduation — student displays her decorated cap, on which she has written, "The show must go on"


2017 EPHS graduation — student with diploma shakes hands with Dr. Anderson


2017 EPHS graduation — student displays her cap, which she's decorated with flowers


2017 EPHS graduation — student with diploma shakes hands with Dr. Anderson


2017 EPHS graduation — students toss their caps


2017 EPHS graduation — Valedictorian Steiv Shore with parents after the ceremony


2017 EPHS graduation — student celebrating with her family members after the ceremony


2017 EPHS graduation — students celebrate with friends and relatives after the ceremony


2017 EPHS graduation — student celebrates with her family after the ceremony


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