Senator Delivers Keynote Address At Belhs Graduation

José M. Serrano

June 27, 2008

Senator Serrano delivered the keynote address to graduating seniors of Bronx Expeditionary Learning High School (BELHS) during an evening ceremony at Fordham University's historic Keating Hall.

The address capped off a busy graduation season in which the Senator and his staff awarded Certificates of Merit to distinguished students in more than 25 schools throughout the 28th District. The extensive outreach effort not only demonstrated the Senator's strong commitment to public education, but helped to forge ever closer alliances between his office and the teachers, administrators, parents and students he represents in the State Senate.

"I want the educational institutions in my district to consider me a friend, ally, and resource," said the Senator. "I believe we can work together, on everything from class size to state budgets, to ensure our students get the attention they deserve."

The Senator had the good fortune to meet with BELHS students last year. During the graduation, he said: "What I remember was a class that was engaged, thoughtful, and intelligent. You are students who didn't just receive an education, but you're already thinking about how to use that education to further yourself and your community."

"If you need inspiration, just look to your own high school," he continued. "I'll tell you: the old Taft did not have the greatest of reputations. But thanks to a community that cares, and a student body that never quits, we have seen the facility reborn, diversified and energized.

"The teachers and the administrators in this room deserve so much credit. They may not have fancy titles, or Wall Street salaries, but I tell you this – it is the Educator who influences and touches more people than any other. It is the Educator who shapes our world, and generations to come."