Pines Bridge School Holds Graduation for ‘Transitions’ Students at PNW BOCES

June 15, 2018

Twelve students graduated Friday from the Transitions Program at the Pines Bridge School, located at the Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES campus in Yorktown.

The students – Kimberly Bogen, Benjamin Cerreno, Lashanda Crosby, Luke Geocos, Ryan Gotto, Natalie Kalikoff, Kathleen McCandless, Lindsay Moloney, Anthony Reda, William Titus, Julianna Vivenzio and Ryanne Zoffoli – entered the Walden Learning Center one by one to applause and cheers from their families, friends, teachers and support staff.


The graduates’ hard work over many years in the face of significant challenges was recognized by Dr. James Ryan, district superintendent, Board President Richard Kreps and Principal Csilla Mate.

“Within this school, you’ve found the essential ingredients for success,” Dr. Ryan said, commending the teaching, therapeutic and support staffs that have worked together as a team to foster the graduates’ development and accomplishments. Both Dr. Ryan and Kreps also applauded the families of the graduates.

“The amount of strength, perseverance and of course love that got us here today is absolutely incredible,” Kreps said. Transitions, a regional program for students with developmental delays, multiple disabilities or diagnoses on the autism spectrum, helps students prepare for life after school by teaching daily living and social skills and providing vocational opportunities.

Each student shared their thoughts on leaving Pines Bridge by giving short speeches, either by addressing the crowd or using assistive technology to deliver recorded remarks. Students thanked their families and teachers and said they would miss Pines Bridge next year.

“I have made many friends here at BOCES and I will miss them,” said Kimberly Bogen. Several students also spoke about their vocational experiences in the community and shared plans for next year.

“I have accomplished many skills over the years,” said Anthony Reda. “I worked hard at every work site.”

New York State Assemblyman Kevin Byrne was a special guest and brought certificates for the students.

Pines Bridge Principal Csilla Mate said she was proud of the graduates and all they have accomplished: “You are going to go on and do beautiful things, and we are so sad to be losing you,” she said.