Anthony Ramos, the New Utrecht High School graduate who won a Grammy Award last month for his role in the hit Broadway show ‘Hamilton,’ was honored in City Hall Tuesday.
Councilman Mark Treyger, who once taught at New Utrecht High School, presented Ramos with a City Council Proclamation at the event. Treyger and Ramos were joined by United Federation of Teachers (UFT) President Michael Mulgrew and Ramos’ former drama teacher Sara Steinweiss.
Ramos — who plays a dual role of title character’s son Philip and John Laurens in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Grammy-winning musical — attended New Utrecht High while Treyger taught history and government there. Treyger said he attended some of Ramos’ earliest theatrical performances, including the school’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“I am immensely proud to see that Anthony Ramos is one of the brightest up-and-comers in a cultural art form that is intertwined with New York City’s history,” said Treyger. “Mr. Ramos exemplifies what the public school system can be for our young people.”
Ramos began his high school career as an athlete, playing baseball and wrestling for New Utrecht, but in his junior year, friends convinced him to try out for a talent show. That led to him landing the lead role in a student-produced play. Despite having virtually no acting experience, his performance caught the eye of Steinweiss, who pushed him to continue acting.
With the help of Steinweiss, his guidance counselor Jason Jacobs, his baseball and wrestling coaches, and other teachers and staff at the school, Ramos was able to maintain his focus on his studies while nurturing his budding interest in the dramatic arts.
As his high school graduation neared, he considered attending community college or joining the Navy, but Steinweiss pushed him to apply to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, even paying for his application because he could not afford it. The school accepted him after he auditioned, but he could not afford the tuition.
The Seinfeld Scholarship fund stepped in and agreed to cover the cost of Ramos’ tuition after Steinweiss contacted them regarding her student.
Ramos has gone on to perform in productions across the country, and currently stars in “Hamilton.” He is also cast in several motion pictures due to be released in the near future.
Ramos expressed gratitude to his teachers and his school for supporting his gift and said he hopes that New York City schools will continue to emphasize the arts.
“Thank you to Councilman Treyger and the City for this proclamation, and thank you to the public school system, teachers like Mr. Mulgrew, Ms. Steinweiss, my counselors, my coaches, for pushing me,” said Ramos. “Let’s keep arts and theater programs going. We need to make keeping the arts in schools a priority.”