Mr. Brian Connolly - Washingtonville High School Principal

A proud alumnus of Washingtonville High School's graduating class of 1987, Mr. Connolly shares a deep connection with both the town and the high school. After graduating from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY, he launched his teaching career as a Social Studies teacher at WHS in 1996. Mr. Connolly devoted his time to coaching football and baseball before transitioning into an administrative role as Assistant Principal. For the past decade, he has served as Principal of Washingtonville High School, instilling the mantra "Pride, Passion, and Purpose" in his students, while truly embodying the phrase, "Once a Wizard, Always a Wizard."

Dr. Larry Washington, Washingtonville Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Washington commenced his tenure as Superintendent in 2019. With over 25 years of experience in education, he previously served as Principal in the Warwick district and as Assistant Principal at Suffern High School in Rockland County. Dr. Washington earned a doctoral degree in Instructional Leadership from St. John's University and a Master's degree in School Administration and Supervision from Mercy College.

Katherine Shcherbatsevich, Class of 2023 Valedictorian

Katherine Shcherbatsevich is the daughter of Alexander and Natallia Shcherbatsevich and is the younger sister of Nastassia Shcherbatsevich Li.

Throughout high school, Katherine has pushed herself to excel academically. She has pursued a rigorous high school curriculum by taking challenging classes such AP Biology, AP U.S. History, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus BC, Dual Enrollment Spanish 4 and 5, SUPA Writing 105, SUPA Class, Literary Texts, SUPA Public Affairs, and SUPA Macroeconomics. She has received numerous academic awards as well as a Reward of Recognition for AP Biology and a Clarkson University High School Achievement Award. Outside of school, she has also taken a physics course through the University of Virginia.

In addition to academics, Katherine has also been an avid member of the music community and has played the clarinet for over seven years. She currently plays in the Wind Ensemble and received a 2022 Outstanding Musician Award in her junior year.

Katherine believes that it is important to help the community and she has served as a member of the National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, and Community Service Club. She has also been a dedicated peer tutor, working with regular, advanced placement, and special education students to prepare them for the Living Environment and Algebra 1 Regents Exams. In addition, she has also helped maintain the school courtyard and participated in the school’s recycling club.

Katherine knows that exercise is vital to physical and mental health. She has been a student athlete since the 7th grade, running Cross Country and participating in indoor and outdoor track. 

Katherine would like to thank her incredibly supportive family and friends for always encouraging her to excel in her endeavors. She is also very grateful for the guidance of her teachers and the Washingtonville administration.

Katherine’s career goal is to become a specialized doctor.

Jacqueline Brienza, Class of 2023 Salutatorian

Jacqueline Brienza is the daughter of Danielle and Jeffrey Brienza, younger sister to Jason Brienza, and older sister to Eric, Cynthia, and Alan Brienza.

Throughout her high school career, Jacqueline has challenged herself with a plethora of AP and dual enrollment courses, including AP Biology, AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus BC, SUPA Writing, Spanish 4 and 5, and SUPA Public Affairs. Dedication and resilience in her classes and academic efforts have brought Jacqueline a multitude of awards including excellence in Math Modeling and Technology, Spanish 3, and Precalculus. In September of 2022, Jacqueline was also recognized as a National Merit Commended Student for her score on the PSAT.

In addition to a rigorous schedule, Jacqueline has partaken in numerous after-school activities. She is Vice President of the Math Honor Society and a member of the World Language, Art, Science, and National Honor Societies. Jacqueline was a member of the Quiz Bowl Team in her Senior year and a member of the Math Team for all four years of high school. In her Senior year of Math Team, she qualified individually for States and was a member of the sectional team for Washingtonville.

Jacqueline would like to thank her family for their unconditional support throughout her time at school. With their endless encouragement, they have supplied her with the drive to do the absolute best that she can, both inside and outside of school. In addition to this, her friends have played a central role in defining these past four years of her life. She is deeply grateful for the feedback and support they have supplied, making her time at school not only successful but also enjoyable. A culmination of the guidance and support stemming from her family, friends, and teachers has encouraged Jacqueline all through her high school career, pushing her to make the most of her time at Washingtonville High School.

Although Jacqueline is not sure which university she would like to attend, nor her specific area of study, she is looking forward to exploring the field of Math and Sciences and is excited to begin the next chapter of new endeavors and academics. Jacqueline has enjoyed her four years at Washingtonville and wishes all of the Class of 2023 the best of luck in their own future endeavors.

Ayana Ruiz, 2023 Class President

Ayana Ruiz the daughter of Joan Ruiz-Werkema and Naquan Brown, and step daughter of Anna Ruiz-Werkema. She is the older sister to Aydan Ruiz, Hudson Werkema, and Holden Werkema. 

Ayana has been active in student government during her high school career, , and has served as senior class president from the fall of  2022 to the spring of 2023. This is her first leadership role. Ayana not only performs academically above the average student, she is also active in extracurricular and professional activities. Ayana has held many jobs, including boutique salesperson, food counter attendant, cheerleading coach, and retail salesperson. In addition, Ayana likes to participate in volunteer activities such as Bible camp supervisor. Ayana is passionate about cheerleading and she has won multiple awards including MVP and sportsmanship awards, as well as the Pivot Forward Pin. In addition, she participated in this year's Orange County Substance Abuse Essay Contest where she placed second in recognition of her passion for eradicating addiction due to her father’s recent passing due to complications related to drug abuse.

Ayana has committed to undergraduate education at Monmouth University located in Long Branch, New Jersey. Ayana is planning on getting her degree in Business Administration in Real Estate with a minor in Marketing. Ayana dreams of being very successful in the business industry and hopes to always be happy. 

Ayana would like to take this opportunity to express her gratitude for the incredible support she has received throughout her life and education thus far. Without the support of her family, friends, teachers, and other school staff, Ayana fully understands that she wouldn't be where she is today.  

Brittany Kolmel, Guest Speaker

Brittany Nicole Kolmel is a renowned figure in women's soccer. Hailing from Campbell Hall, New York, she left a remarkable legacy at Washingtonville High School and the University of Connecticut before making her mark on professional soccer.

Brittany began her professional journey with the Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues. She later played for the Western New York Flash, FC Kansas City, and Utah Royals FC in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). She represented the United States in the U-20 team at the Nordic Cup in 2006 and the Pan American Games in 2007.

After a successful playing career, she transitioned into coaching and was appointed women's soccer head coach at Marist College in 2020.