NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The New Rochelle High School Class of 2018 has marked a rare achievement – all eight Ivy League colleges have accepted at least one of the school’s graduating seniors.
With acceptances rolling in, 13 members of the class have chosen to become freshmen at seven of the Ivy League schools. (Columbia University accepted two members of the class, but both have chosen to attend other schools.)
“New Rochelle is one of the best-kept secrets in the state of New York,” Principal Reginald Richardson said this week, as many students sported sweatshirts from the colleges they will attend to celebrate their acceptances. “We are able to provide a quality education that helps our students get into highly selective colleges and we also prepare them to be successful in these competitive environments. Coming from a large, diverse school district helps them navigate so they are prepared to be successful and they are able to engage with people in all walks of life and advocate for themselves.”
“This is amazing,” Brea Watkins, who will attend the University of Pennsylvania, said in a gathering with her schoolmates who are also Ivy League-bound. “I’m really proud of everyone. It’s such a great year for academics. I think that we all worked so hard, I’m so happy that we’re all sitting here today.”
Valedictorian Elijah Pomerantz had his pick of top schools. He was accepted by Princeton, Harvard and Columbia universities. He chose Princeton, making him the first NRHS senior to accept enrollment in the New Jersey college since at least 2011, according to NRHS Director of Guidance Gregg Sloane.
Randall St. Louis, the salutatorian, will attend Harvard University.
Cornell University will receive six of the class members: James Calano, Sofia Halpern, Zahra Masih, Andrew Sirota, Justin Sirota and Dana Walters.
Two soon-to-be-alumni will attend Yale University – Samuel Pekats and Andrew Sorota. Kimberly Collins will attend Brown University and Kiera Jackson will attend Dartmouth.
Sebastian Gonzalez, who, like Pomerantz, was accepted by Columbia, has chosen to attend New York University, Sloane said.
Jackson had this advice for upcoming students: Follow your passions.
“Do things that you want to do, the things that will make you happy, and you’ll end up in the right place,” she said.
Richardson said all colleges will receive New Rochelle students who are well prepared for the next step in their lives.
“These incredible students spotlight the achievements we see consistently in our schools and our community,” the principal said. “As our students move on to Ivy League colleges and a wide range of other renowned schools, we’re elated to know that they will bring the values and lessons they learned in New Rochelle to their new classmates and out into the world.”