NEWBURGH – When the Newburgh Free Academy class of 2019 participates in graduation ceremonies this evening, there will be two valedictorians – Matthew Stridiron and Martin Peticco.
An appeal to the state education commissioner by Matthew’s father, Darren Stridiron, to issue a temporary stay of the co-valedictorian status was rejected. The overall case of whether Matthew should be the sole valedictorian has yet to be resolved in Albany. “We hope the commissioner sees all the evidence, the truth is seen and the ruling is in our favor,” said Darren Stridiron, who is a member of the Newburgh School Board.
Stridiron maintains his son is being punished because Superintendent Dr. Roberto Padilla has a vendetta against him for being outspoken against the school administration’s actions, including the rigging of student athlete grades so they could continue to participate in team sports.