Noteworthy grads

November 1, 2018

Noteworthy graduates: James Gaffigan, orchestra conductor

James Gaffigan, the music director and chief conductor of Switzerland’s Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, attended public schooling on Staten Island. “If I didn’t go to public schools, I never would be where I am today,” says Gaffigan. “It’s an extraordinary gift to have a great teacher because that’s what gets kids excited about something. I remember so many of them and their passion.”

September 6, 2018

Noteworthy graduate: Lawrence Mohr, physician to two presidents

Lawrence Mohr is a doctor, an educator and a much-decorated Vietnam veteran, who served as the White House physician for two presidents. He is also a graduate of New York City public schools.

June 7, 2018

Noteworthy graduate: Jon Favreau, Actor and filmmaker

Jon Favreau says his four years at Bronx HS of Science are indelible for him. "Only now can I appreciate what a great life experience it was," he says. "I got a good working knowledge of many different cultures and as I travel or meet people throughout my life, I can draw upon that."

April 5, 2018

Noteworthy graduates: Frank Wilczek, Nobel laureate in physics

Frank Wilczek, one of the world’s most eminent theoretical physicists and a New York City public school graduate, can’t remember a time when he wasn’t interested in math and science. As a high school senior, Wilczek was a finalist in the national Science Talent Search. What he does as a theoretical physicist “is recognizably the same sort of approach, just without the knowledge and sophistication that takes more training than I had at the time.”

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.

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