‘This school has really prepared me for life’

George F. Baker Class of 2016 is ready to move onto life’s new adventures

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  • Jhanya Squires, one of the newest alumni at George F. Baker High School in Tuxedo, will attend East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania this fall. She plans to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

— Last night, as the 28 members of the Class of 2016 at George F. Baker High School awaited the awarding of their diplomas in their red and white caps and gowns, Jhanya Squires of Tuxedo was thinking about her four years as a Baker student and the people who helped her on her journey.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “This school has really prepared me for life. There have been so many opportunities and my memories are here. It came so quickly.”

In addition to her regular studies on the Tuxedo campus, Squires also completed her studies as a nursing student at the Health Careers Academy at BOCES’ Arden Hill Career and Technical Education Center in Goshen, where she graduated as a certified nursing assistant.

“Academically, it’s been wonderful here,” she said about her time at Baker. “I’ve made a lot of friends and the teachers have been fantastic.”

At Baker, Squires was a member of the cross country and girls crew team in addition to being a three-year member of the girls varsity basketball team, including serving as its captain in her senior year.

To be a nurse

This fall, she will continue her nursing studies at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania where she plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and become a registered nurse. She eventually plans to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Yet, before all those new science classes begin, it was important for Squires to thank all the people who helped her during her high school journey.

Yes, there’s Baker’s teachers who challenged her and pushed her to do her very best.

Family matters

But Squires said she’d be remiss if she didn’t acknowledge the love and support of her family.

“My mom, thank you, she’s has always believed in me and pushed me to do my best even when I didn’t think I could,” she said. “And, she always been someone I can talk to.”

Squires’ grandparents live with her family and she felt they, too, were instrumental in her success.

“To my Nana, I want to say you are my sunshine,” she said. “That’s what we always say to each other. Thank you, Nana, for always pointing out to me my strengths over the years and knowing that I needed something before I ever came to you.”

Likewise, to her grandfather, Squires said: “Thank you, Pop Pop, for being my best friend. He is my father role. And he gives me a shoulder to lean on and always knows when I need encouragement.”

Squires’ twin brother Freddy also graduated last night.

“Freddy, thank you for being there every step of the way and supporting me on tasks that I thought I would have never completed,” she said.

At home, Squires has two younger brothers, Manny and Marcus, who even got an acknowledgement of thanks from their older sister.

“Thanks for being there for me even though it seemed like I never appreciated it,” she said.

And she was very quick to add: “No, you cannot have my room.”

'Great experience'

While Baker’s class size is much smaller than other area high schools, the feelings of accomplishment, pride, achievement and hopes for future success are just as large.

“There’s a lot of happy tears,” Squires said. “This has been a great experience.”

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