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White Plains High School Grad 'Feels Like Doors Just Opened To Heaven'

Pedro Jacinto (left) and Iyana Thompson graduated White Plains High School Thursday night. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
White Plains High School grads flip their lids after receiving their diplomas at the Westchester County Center Thursday, June 26.
White Plains High School grads flip their lids after receiving their diplomas at the Westchester County Center Thursday, June 26. Video Credit: Brian Donnelly
More than 500 students graduated from White Plains High School in 2014. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Charly Mejia gets congratulated on graduating high school by Stout Sgt. Christopher Pratt of the U.S. Marines. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Theodora Fontas (center) with her family after graduation. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Friends Pedro Jacinto and Iyana Thompson had two distinct reactions to graduating with the 2014 class at White Plains High School Thursday night at the Westchester County Center.

Jacinto, 18, said he feels like a million pounds have been lifted off his shoulders and “like the doors just opened to heaven.” Thompson, on the other hand, said her feet hurt after all the standing around.

“So, it hurts,” she said like a comedian delivering the punch line. “But, it’s also bittersweet, because a lot of us are going really far.”

Thompson will attend Parsons, where she plans to major in jewelry design, something she inadvertently developed a passion for in her years at White Plains High School.

“I first joined jewelry because I wanted to be cute and make little rings and stuff,” she said. “But, now I’ve made wooden jewelry out of trees.”

She credited her jewelry design teacher Mark Hauge, saying he was an inspiration for her.

“He taught me how to do that and that’s what I’m going to school for now,” she said.

White Plains High School graduated 502 students, 65 of which were National Honor Society members. There were 180 who graduated with advanced regents diplomas and another 59 with advanced regents diplomas with honors.

Theodora Fontas, 17, was both a National Honors Society member and advanced regents diploma with honors recipient. She said moving on to the next part of her life is a scary feeling, but she is also excited and will be attending Boston University.

“I definitely made the best friends of my life at White Plains High school, and it prepared me for the real world,” said Fontas, who swam and played basketball in her four years.

Charly Mejia will take another path, joining the U.S. Marines. He said he met with a recruiter, Stout Sgt. Christopher Pratt, and liked the lifestyle and discipline.

“The commitment that a young person has like that speaks volumes of them,” Pratt said of Mejia.

Tiernan Cranny, 18, will be going to Mercy College to study recording technology, after spending the last two years running a recording studio in his basement.

“I’ve been doing production and doing recording with my friends for the past year and it’s just what I want to do,” he said, adding he wants to go on tour as a “sound guy” and then work in a recording studio.

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