Noteworthy grads

February 1, 2018

Noteworthy graduates: Jason Gotay, Actor and singer

"I’m so thankful for the high school experience I had," says 28-year-old actor and singer Jason Gotay of his experience at the Professional Performing Arts HS in Manhattan. "The level of training we got, the individualized attention, the people we worked with, it was invaluable. I wouldn’t trade it for the world."

December 7, 2017

Noteworthy graduates: Harvey Araton, Sportswriter

Harvey Araton had never seen The New York Times until a high school English teacher had his class read it each day. Now, after more than 25 years as a sportswriter and columnist there, Araton's writing has earned him a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

October 5, 2017

Noteworthy graduates: Sheldon Fields, University professor, nurse

Sheldon Fields is the youngest of six children born to a single mom in the 1970s in Brownsville, Brooklyn. With the help of influential public school teachers, Fields went on to get a Ph.D. in nursing and is now the college dean.

July 6, 2017

Noteworthy graduates: Jimmy Van Bramer, City Council member

Jimmy Van Bramer says his 10th-grade Global Studies teacher saved his life. She took a shy and withdrawn boy struggling with his sexuality and said: “You are smart, Jimmy. You have a voice. A voice is power. Use your voice."

May 4, 2017

Noteworthy graduates: Yemaya Bordain, electrical engineer

“The teachers, to a one, told me and showed me I was special and handed me off with love to the next teacher,” says Yemaya Bordain, who in 2015 was the first black woman to receive a Ph.D in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne.

March 2, 2017

Noteworthy graduates: Vernon Turner, retired NFL football player

Vernon Turner endured an early life so rooted in poverty and degradation that at age 50 he remains shocked to be alive. He was saved by two miracle workers, his 2nd-grade teacher and his high school coach.

January 5, 2017

Noteworthy graduates:J. Machelle Sweeting, Civil Court judge

J. Machelle Sweeting's elementary school teachers melded sky-high expectations with tough love. The combination transformed a shy, smart child from the projects into a Civil Court judge.

November 3, 2016

Noteworthy graduates: Paul Barbara, emergency room physician

Paul Barbara says his science teacher at Staten Island Technical HS "taught me how to learn what I thought I’d never understand and how to complete a task.”

September 8, 2016

Noteworthy graduates: Reno Wilson, actor and screenwriter

Reno Wilson is a renowned television actor, but he hasn’t forgotten the New York City public schools that nurtured his talent.

June 2, 2016

Noteworthy graduates: Martha Mooke, electro-acoustic violist

Martha Mooke has accompanied a dream team of famous musicians, but to this day, the acclaimed musical pioneer respects no one more than her Staten Island music teacher at IS 34, the late Leonard Ogren.

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