Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School bid farewell to 40 students with words of wisdom from a diverse group of legends, including Dr. Seuss and basketball coach Jim Valvano.
However, the audience at the Glimmerglass Festival in Springfield Center also heard some wisdom from the graduates, themselves.
Salutatorian Elizabeth Jacoby told the audience her class is unlike the stereotypes people associate with her generation. Instead she praised her classmates for their wild ideas and non-conformity.
“We don't want to be the dull herd,” she said.
Valedictorian Tanner Yager said his classmates have shown compassion unlike many of their generation, and said their mission is to become students of the world now.
“Compassion is not dead,” he said. “We witness everyday acts of true compassion within our school community.
“It is our duty to live for others so that compassion may flourish,” Yager said.
Class sponsors Dave Lamouret and Merrilyn Clapper said they could not find one quote to summarize their diverse group. So they found 40 quotes instead, reading from a Seuss compilation, “Seuss-isms.” They also gave their students the book as graduation gifts.
Jordan Jaquay, CV-S teacher and track coach, was the guest speaker, telling the students 10 lessons of life to take with them, from stay grounded to take chances to love what you do.
As he often does, Jaquay quoted Valvano's edict that if you can laugh, cry and think in one day, then it is a good day.
“Never be afraid to show your emotions,” Jaquay said. “It is not a sign of weakness.”
CV-S Superintendent T.J. Climehaga, an alumni who was presiding over her first graduation at her alma-mater, thanked the students' family, teachers and friends for helping them get through school successfully.
“They are living proof it takes a community to (succeed),” she said. “Our small-town community can take pride in their accomplishments.”