On Thursday, June 6th, 2009, at the Queens College Colden Auditorium, a ceremony was held honoring the largest Allen School graduating class in its almost fifty year history – a full 1400 graduates – which included graduates from the Medical Assistant and Nursing Assistant programs and the first group of graduates from the Allen School’s new Online Medical Insurance Billing & Coding program. The online graduates who attended with their families were not only from New York, but also from such distant places as Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Ohio. For some of them, the trip to Graduation 2009 represented their first trip to New York.
The ceremonies began with a quiet reflection delivered by Mike Perez, Executive Director of Admissions, followed by a powerful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by current Queens’ Medical Assistant student, Elizabeth Guzman.
Annette Jill Luke, Director of the Queens campus, Lillian Mitchell, Director of the Brooklyn campus, and Linda Passamaneck, Director of the Online school, addressed the graduates and guests. Their abiding devotion to the graduates was expressed in heartfelt and meaningful words of encouragement and enthusiasm, clearly tinged with a bit of melancholy as yet another group of their carefully nurtured “offspring” flew out of the Allen School “nest” into the world at large.
Valedictorians, Medical Assistant, Renee Heron (Queens, New York campus), Erica Myers (Brooklyn, New York campus), and Billing & Coding professional Terry Sherman (Online school), spoke eloquently.
Renee advised her fellow graduates to “shoot for the moon,” in terms of reaching their full potential.
Erica compared the grace under fire of the pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, who safely landed the plane in the Hudson River on January 15th of 2009, to the potential that each graduate has to incorporate their training and skills into successfully handling a crisis when others will be depending upon them.
Terry Sherman spoke of her challenging “journey,” returning to school after having raised “three beautiful daughters,” and the great self-confidence she regained as a result.
Janet Kramer, the new and first Executive Director of Career Services, using the metaphor of Dr. Seuss, inspired the graduates to strive for lofty goals and to never give up. Dr. Stephen Davis, Academic Dean (Queens), distributed the diplomas. Dr. Robert Jannicelli, Academic Dean (Brooklyn), presented the graduates to the President of the Allen School, Mr. Robert Teich.
Mr. Teich spoke of the remarkable history of the Allen School, of the fact that ownership now includes three full generations, having passed from Loretta Teich, his mother, to him and now including his son, the Vice President, Jason Teich. He spoke with emotion and pride of the longevity of employment of so very many of the Allen School personnel, as close as family to him, many of whom have been with the school for ten, twenty and even thirty years. Mr. Teich praised the first group of online graduates and congratulated all of the graduates encouraging them to go higher.
Evening Dean, Gail Skeete (Brooklyn), lead the graduates in the recitation of the Professional Code for Health Career Graduates, that includes the promise to provide services with respect for human dignity…regardless of the social, cultural, economic or religious differences of the patients…to be a role model for one’s family, a professional in the community and a part of the global healthcare team…”
Members of the Allen School’s 2009 graduating class, will be part of the new frontier in the medical industry, as advancing techniques in science, medicine and technology, meet the challenges in a world of “firsts.”
Additional photos of Graduation 2009 are posted on the Facebook page and on the Allen School blog. Check them out.
Queens and Brooklyn Campuses Facebook:
Online Campus Facebook:
For the Blog: