By Meghan McCaffrey Contributing Writer
---- — Forty-five Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School students received their diplomas Saturday at the Glimmerglass Opera House. The class of 2013 commemorates the 25th graduation celebrated by the Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School.
The events began with a processional by the CV-S Concert Band followed by the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance March.”
Next, the salutatorian, Alexander Freehafer, gave his address and then the class advisers and guest speakers spoke. There was also a song, “My Wish,” sang by Matthew Jones and accompaniment by Irene Fassett. The guest speakers, Kim Gray and Merrilyn Clapper used the song, telling each of the students their wishes for them.
“Grow up but don’t grow old,” they told one student. They told another student to “Stand tall and enjoy what life has to offer.” They then told all of the students to be thankful for their parents and they can always come home to CV-S Central School.
Principal Kevin Keane honored events in 1988 as a way of remembering the first graduation ceremony hosted that year by the Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School. He noted that Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks. As Keane said this, the CV-S Concert Band broke into song, playing the tune for a few measures.
Keane then had members of the class of 1988 stand if they were in the audience, two of which were current teachers at CV-S.
Keane then presented awards with the Interim Superintendent Richard Rose. Then came what everybody was waiting for — the presentation of diplomas with Robert Tabor, the school board president.
The valedictorian, Shawn Lowry, then gave his speech. He thanked parents, family, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors and community members for loving, training, preparing him and his peers. Most importantly, he noted that they never gave up on his class.
Lowry said “One of the wisest men to ever give advice, next to Yoda of course, Dr. Seuss, who said ‘Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.’”
He then gave advice to everyone in the Opera House, not just the seniors.
“Today I present you with a challenge, a challenge to follow your calling,” he said. “Find your niche and your place in the world.”
He asked the audience, “What are you called to do.”
He told everyone to never settle for good enough. Lowry added: “We will spend over 76,000 hours of our lives working so we should enjoy it. “
Lowry noted that he played baseball for 10 years, and in that time, he had his share of bad plays.
“Whenever you make a bad play all you can do is shake it off and make another play,” he said.
“Baseball is a lot like life, there is no such thing as stalling the clock,” Lowry continued. “You have to play till the final pinch, the final out. Why not live life the same way?”
After the valedictory speech, the seniors sang the Alma Mater, lead by Rachel Ann Peterson. The class President Tyler McDermott, introduced the class of 2013 followed by the recessional played by five clarinet players from the senior class. Then the students walked outside into the sunshine and into a new chapter in their lives.