One of the many things Falconer Central School's class of 2013 will be remembered for is its outstanding academic performance.
As Steve Penhollow, Falconer superintendent, addressed the students and their families at the district's 65th annual commencement ceremony, he threw out some impressive facts about the graduating class.
"Fifty-five of our 98 students will graduate with college credits. Many of them will have completed an entire semester of college before they even accept their high school diploma," he said.
A light moment during Falconer High School commencement ceremonies. Pictured, from left, are: Julian Disimile, Devin Donelson, Krista Cooley, Taylor Fellows, Rebecca Hartling and Spencer Erickson.
Photo by Valory Isaacson
Penhollow went on to report an overall class average of 85.2 percent, while 33 of the 98 students had more than a 90 percent overall average. He said 50 percent of the graduates received a regents diploma with advanced designation or above, and 11 students received regents, career and technical education degrees.
"This group has taken on every challenge that we've placed in front of them," he said. "Not only did they take them on, but they've mastered them."
After graduates and their families filed into the Reg Lenna Civic Center, several awards, scholarships and speeches were imparted upon the class. The ceremony's keynote speaker was Jennifer Volk, a 1983 Falconer graduate and three-year board of education member.
In her address, Volk bestowed some of life's wisdom to the graduates in the form of fortune cookie sayings. She then provided the graduates with fortune cookies she had brought along for the occasion.
"Graduation is the end of this stage of your lives, commencement is the beginning of your future," she said as she concluded her speech. "I am here now to send you on your way, and wish you the very best of luck and good fortune. Your parents, teachers and administrators have done their job, and done it well. And now it's your turn. I know you will make us proud."
Volk was followed by class Salutatorian Krista Cooley, who took her classmates on a brief trip through the history of their schooling together.
"Despite the variety of emotions running through your mind right now, think back to that first day of kindergarten, that fifth-grade graduation and that first day of freshman year," she said. "Think back to all of those excitements and fears, and just look how far you've come."
Valedictorian Brandon Norris provided a lively speech full of wit, sarcasm and humor.
"If we are able to take some time out of our day to laugh at the ironies and stupid things we do, life becomes more enjoyable and time goes by much faster," he said. "I implore you to live spontaneously and laugh at the minor changes and weird quirks of the world. And laugh at the silly things, and even the not-so-funny things, life is better that way."
"I want to, again, say congratulations to the class of 2,000 square root of 169," he added.
Class officers also presented the district with its class gift of a new speaker system for the high school gymnasium.
"From now on, think of us-not necessarily during the exams-but definitely during the pep assemblies," said Carolyn Becker, class president. "Congratulations to the class of 2013, may we always be heard in all that we do."