NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Jefferson Elementary School fifth-graders got the opportunity to witness an inauguration ceremony Wednesday when state Sen. George Latimer was sworn in during a morning assembly.
Latimer was reelected to a third term with the New York State Senate in the fall election. New Rochelle City Judge Susan Kettner administered the oath.
Principal Kimmerly Nieves started the ceremonies by explaining to the students how a state senator helps make laws that govern the state and a senator’s role in the community. She said Latimer has always been an advocate for the school and the City School District of New Rochelle.
Latimer, a Democrat, represents the 37th district, which is comprised of Bedford, Bronxville, Eastchester, Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Rye, Rye Brook, Tuckahoe, White Plains and Yonkers.
Fifth-grade students Ember Stevens and Elijah Brown also spoke before the crowd.
“Your dedication to Westchester County has made this community a wonderful place to live and work,” Stevens said. “Your accessibility as a representative of our community is well known.”
Brown said, “As Jefferson students, we have enjoyed having your presence at our school." He commended Latimer for coming to his classroom last year to answer questions and for taking part in the school’s summer reading challenge.
New York State Assemblyman Steven Otis (D-91AD) and New Rochelle Council Member Jared Rice also attended the inauguration and spoke. After the oath of office was administered, Latimer made a couple of points – to both the students and the adults.
“You have certain responsibilities as kids, right? Later in life, you will have responsibilities too,” Latimer told the students. “What I just did by putting my hand on the Bible is I just agreed to do certain things. I am committing myself that I will do my very best to do those things.”
To the adults, Latimer said, “We’ve just seen in Washington the inauguration. … No matter how we voted on Election Day, we are one nation. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with things we don’t agree with. But it does mean we have to remember we are Americans. We have more in common than what separates us.”
The Jefferson Chorus concluded the program by singing the Beatles song, “All You Need is Love.”
Latimer had a second swearing-in ceremony later that day at the Hugh Doyle Senior Center.