Corcoran High School Seniors Say College Can be a Reality

Story by Megan Ripley, a senior at Corcoran High School

Two Corcoran High School seniors describe what they love about their education and why they believe students should put hard work first

Graduation rates are slowly decreasing, and our district offices are scrambling for change. However, Corcoran High School’s highly recognized International Baccalaureate Diploma could be a source for that change.

Many students have already pursued careers at prestigious institutions, such as Brown University and Cornell University, with the help of this program. Syracuse City School District Commissioner Calvin Corriders suggested in an interview published in The Post-Standard in 2007 that an extensive reading program in our city’s elementary and middle schools was the way to improve literacy levels and graduation rates for future classes.

Is there hope?

I interviewed two of Corcoran’s most thriving seniors, Alicia Cobb and Vasiliy Pechenyy.

Both students have been pursuing their goal to receive the International Baccalaureate Diploma their whole high school careers. They are close to achieving their goals.

Read more about them and why they believe in Corcoran High School.

Alicia Cobb plans to major in film production because she is passionate about theatrical arts. Various institutions such as Rochester Institute of Technology and Oswego State University of New York have caught her attention.

She will miss theater and English teacher Greg Hipius because they have created a bond over the past four years. “He’s more than a teacher to me, and he seems more like a friend with all the time I spend with him, whether it’s in class, or those hours after school trying to perfect scenes for an upcoming show,” Alicia said.

As for Corcoran, Alicia hopes the school remains. Alicia also hopes that IB and non-IB students become more integrated. She feels the split between the two academies could potentially ruin prior friendships.

Vasiliy Pechenyy plans to study engineering at Syracuse University in the fall. He enjoys the challenges and complexity of mathematics and science. Physics teacher Debbie Panebianco and English teacher Megan Root have encouraged him to strive for the best, which has helped him become the successful person he is today.

Vasiliy wishes for future students to put forth more effort in their academics, instead of doing the bare minimum. He hopes they realize how hard work can grow into a promising future for them.

His advice for future scholars: “Just don’t give up, and when you do give up, DON’T!” Vasiliy continues to strive for excellence, even though he is close to graduating with honors.


Megan Ripley is a senior at Corcoran High School and a South Side resident. She is a member of Kristie Yarnell’s journalism class. If you are a high school student and would like to write for The Stand, contact Ashley Kang at