ELDRED, NY — It was a picture-perfect evening as family and friends gathered on June 24. They celebrated the 21 students upon whom diplomas would soon be conferred in the 94th commencement in …
ELDRED, NY — It was a picture-perfect evening as family and friends gathered on June 24. They celebrated the 21 students upon whom diplomas would soon be conferred in the 94th commencement in the history of the Eldred Central School District.
Principal Traci Ferreira was emcee for the evening’s festivities.
She introduced salutatorian AnnMarie Davis, who welcomed the celebrants. She advised her fellow students to “pursue that in which you will be happy and can truly make a difference. Positive words and actions will not only improve your quality of life, but also that of those around you. Don’t be discouraged if it takes time to achieve your goals. If something doesn’t go as planned, it means you are meant to travel down a different path.”
District Superintendent Dr. John Morgano addressed the graduates, asking that they be agents of change by taking the opportunity to lift others up and help them advance, because it is the right thing to do. He challenged them to imagine what the world would be like if everyone they knew did so.
Ferreira then introduced Kweku Williams, a 2006 Eldred graduate and professional archeologist affiliated with the Pick Museum of Anthropology at Northern Illinois University. Williams acknowledged Eldred teachers who had encouraged him in his love of the sciences, and paid tribute to Josh Glantz, a dedicated teacher who passed away during the school year. Glantz had influenced not only Williams but also the members of the current graduating class.
Valedictorian Kaitlyn Potter noted that many have been good friends throughout their school experience and that the small number of students has led to the class being particularly close, almost like a family. She paid homage to the grand swimming pool; the announcement of its opening was the senior prank. Potter challenged her fellow students to choose to be fearless in meeting the myriad of choices that will be faced in the future.
School board vice president Stacy Kuhn noted that the class had endured the challenges of the last two years that interrupted so many activities, and have persevered with steadfastness and grace, managing to make beautiful memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. “On behalf of the board of education, it is our fervent hope that the experiences you have had here will continue to propel you into the future,” she said.
Ferreira challenged the graduates to “do something you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is a great work. And the only way to do a great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it, keep looking.”
English teacher Vicky Casey was chosen by the graduating class to read the names of each student as they came forward to receive their diplomas; each student’s accomplishments were enumerated by Heather Bonnnell, administrative and guidance assistant, as they approached the stage.
Joining the class of 2022 was Maddison Rickle, who graduated after three years of high school.
Eleven students will further their educations at SUNY campuses. Five will attend private schools of higher learning; three will enter the working world, and two will enlist in the U.S. Army.
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