NEW ROCHELLE, NY — New Rochelle High School inducted three esteemed alumni to its Wall of Fame on Tuesday.
Jennifer Hyman, class of 1998, Dr. Mark J. Lewis, class of 1980, and Dr. Anthony Bongo, class of 1976, made up the 2016 class of honorees. A ceremony was held at the high school to introduce them and unveil their portraits on the Wall.
“The most important thing is that, this is a way to inspire our students,” New Rochelle High School Principal Reginald Richardson said about the Wall. In his four years, Richardson said that this was the first public presentation that the school has had for new Wall of Fame honorees.
Each of the three honorees addressed the gathered crowd of family and community members.
“So much of my self-confidence came from being in New Rochelle,” said Hyman, who is the co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway, a retail company that makes and offers rental options for designer dresses and accessories. “(It is) such a diverse community.”
Last year, Hyman and her company arranged for prom dresses to be donated to New Rochelle High School seniors.
“The preparation that I got here was second to none,” said Lewis, who is the director of the Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute.
Lewis earned both doctor and master of science degrees in aeronautics and astronautics, as well as a bachelor of science in earth and planetary science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2004 until 2008, he served as the chief scientist for the United States Air Force.
“My path was a little awkward,” said Bongo, the principal of Isaac E. Young Middle School (IEYMS) in New Rochelle.
Following his high school graduation, Bongo attended Westchester Community College for a short time before working in the landscape and contracting industry. He later returned to school, graduating from Iona College in 1992, and the College of New Rochelle in 1994, before taking a job with the New York City Board of Education.
Bongo later returned to New Rochelle as the assistant principal of IEYMS, and became the principal in 2005. In 2011, he received his Doctor of Education in educational leadership from Columbia University.
“I probably learned more from New Rochelle High School in the ’70s than I did from Columbia,” Bongo said.
The Wall of Fame is located in the House 2 Stack area.