Elected officials and Department of Education deputies are the most common graduation speakers at city schools this year.
Novelists will take the stages of two elite schools known for their prowess in math and science, according to a list of graduation speakers the DOE has distributed. (The list is posted below.) E.L. Doctorow will speak at Bronx High School of Science, which he attended, and Stuyvesant graduates will hear from alumnus Gary Shteyngart.
The graduation speaker with the most packed schedule is Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who is scheduled to speak at 15 schools over eight days. The schools include his alma mater, Francis Lewis High School; a school for students with severe disabilities; transfer schools; and two low-performing high schools that aren’t set for closure, Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn and Washington Irving High School in Manhattan.
Notably absent from the list: Ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner, who had been set to speak at his alma mater, Brooklyn Technical High School, before resigning amid scandal this week. The New York Times reports that Public Advocate Bill deBlasio will replace Weiner at Brooklyn Tech. DeBlasio is also the featured speaker at MS 51, a selective middle school in his own neighborhood of Park Slope.
The city also released statistics about high schools’ top graduates:
For the Class of 2011, there are 375 valedictorians. Of these students, 65 percent are female, 49 percent speak a language other than English at home and 66 percent are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
Those breakdowns are virtually identical to last year, when there were only 339 valedictorians because fewer schools had graduating classes.
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS FOR NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ GRADUATION CEREMONIES REPRESENT THE ARTS, PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, BUSINESS, AND GOVERNMENT Authors, professional athletes, business leaders, politicians, and government officials this month are coming to New York City’s public schools to congratulate and offer words of wisdom to the graduates of 2011. Here is a list that highlights some of the graduation keynote speakers this year: E.L. Doctorow, award-winning author, including the winner of the National Book Award, and alumnus, Bronx High School of Science, June 27. Gary Shteyngart, award-winning author and alumnus, Stuyvesant High School, June 27. Mike Westhoff, NY Jets special teams coordinator, Health Professions and Human Services High School, June 24. John Salley, actor, former NBA player and alumnus, Canarsie High School, June 27. Vernon Turner, former NFL running back and wide receiver, author and alumnus, Curtis High School, June 25. Doris Ling-Cohan, NYS Supreme Court justice, John Dewey High School Campus and Lower East Side Preparatory High School, June 27. Philip Straniere, Civil Court judge, Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences, June 23. Vivian Lee, NY 1 News anchor, Lower Eastside Preparatory High School, June 27. Keith Fox, president of McGraw-Hill Construction Division, Harvey Milk High School, June 28. Jon Dohlin, New York Aquarium director, Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies, June 27. Former Governor David Paterson, East Brooklyn Community High School, June 28. Former Mayor David Dinkins, Frederick Douglass Academy, June 24. Dr. Pedro Noguera, professor of education at NYU, Thurgood Marshall Academy, June 24. Curtis Sliwa, Guardian Angels founder and radio talk show host, Martin Luther King Jr. High School, June 21. Dr. Salim Washington, professor of music and African studies at Brooklyn College, the Brooklyn High School of the Arts, June 27. Robert Durkee, vice president of Princeton University, Staten Island Technical High School, June 24. William Cunningham, managing director of DKC Media Relations, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, June 20. Command Sgt. Maj. Michele S. Jones, the first Black female sergeant major of the U.S. Army Reserve, Legacy School for Integrated Studies, June 24. Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, D 75 Connie Lekas School in Brooklyn, June 21; MS 137 in Queens, GED Plus in Manhattan and Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School, June 22; PS 107 in Brooklyn and the Bronx School of Law and Finance, June 23; PS 10 and Edward R. Murrow High School, both in Brooklyn and on June 24; Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science, on June 25; Port Richmond High School and Washington Irving High School, June 27; Francis Lewis High School, his alma mater, Boys & Girls High School and Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School, June 28; and Belmont Preparatory High School, June 29. Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, June 24; Hostos Lincoln Academy, June 28. Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm, Fort Hamilton High School, June 24. Deputy Chancellor Dr. Dorita P. Gibson, New Utrecht High School, June 27. Deputy Chancellor Laura Rodriguez, PS/IS 18 in Manhattan, June 23; 51st Avenue Academy, June 24; and Manhattan School for Career Development, June 27. Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg, East Bronx Academy, June 28. Jennifer Raab, Hunter College president, Manhattan Hunter High School, June 23. Geoffrey Canada, president of the Children’s Harlem Zone, PS 242 in Manhattan, June 24. City Comptroller John Liu, MS 216 in Queens and PS 94 in Brooklyn, June 22; MS 74 in Queens, June 23. Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, MS 51 in Brooklyn, June 22. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Ainissa Ramirez, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials at Yale University, NEST+M, June 27. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, MS 136, June 21; MS 88, June 24. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Entrada Academy, June 23. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, PS 127, June 24. City Council Member and Education Committee Chairman Robert Jackson, IS 195 in Manhattan, June 24. City Council Member Mark Weprin, PS 203 in Queens, June 20; PS 213 in Queens, June 22, PS 191 in Queens, June 24. City Council Member Margaret Chin, The Harbor School, June 24; Economics and Finance High School, June 27. City Council Member Daniel Halloran, JHS 67 in Queens, June 24. City Council Member Daniel Dromm, IS 61 and IS 230 in Queens, June 23. City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, PS 199 in Queens, June 23 and June 24; PS 150 in Queens, June 27 City Council Member Peter Vallone Jr., IS 227 and PS 85 in Queens, June 23; IS 141 and PS 171 in Queens, June 24; PS 17 in Queens, June 27. City Council Member Annabel Palma, PS 100 in the Bronx, June 21. City Council Member Brad Lander, PS 124 in Brooklyn, June 24. For the Class of 2011, there are 375 valedictorians. Of these students, 65 percent are female, 49 percent speak a language other than English at home and 66 percent are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.