SALAMANCA - On a night where 68 new Warrior alums walked, clad in silver and red gowns, newly minted graduates took a look at the past and received a glimpse into the future. From a stage, to a book, even a dictionary account of who they are, the Class of 2014 received a sendoff fit for Warriors.
Class Valedictorian, Courtney Yehl, took the view of a stage, where all of her classmates, and herself, played a part, making the journey from their time in Prospect Elementary, on to Seneca, and ultimately on to the hallowed halls of Salamanca High.
"William Shakespeare wrote, 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women are merely players...'," she said. "If this is true, then tonight our class is in the limelight. Our graduation ceremony marks the greatest success that we have accomplished so far in our lives. From making our first entrance in kindergarten, to our final curtain call as seniors, the Class of 2014 has rehearsed together as a troupe. Along the way, each of us has been influenced by a committed cast and crew, and has even collected some props that will help us find success in the future."
Members of the choir, Michael Coolidge, Zachary Harvey, Austin Hill, Ethan Kenyon, Colleen McClure, Markie Mohr and Mackenzie Tucker sing “The Way We Were.”
Photo by Chris Chapman
Robert Crandall, outgoing Salamanca Board of Education member, hugs his son, Matthew after he hands him his diploma.
Photo by Chris Chapman
Salutatorian, and No. 2 by only a few hundredths of a point under Yehl, Matthew Crandall took the time to define a few things including the word "salutatorian."
"For the most accurate definition of what a salutatorian is, I turned to the most reliable source I could find: Urbandictionary.com," Crandall said to snickers and laughter from the audience. "For those who do not know, Urbandictionary.com is a website created to inform the world of the definitions for the slang terms that our generation uses. This world-renowned website states, 'A salutatorian is the person who just missed being valedictorian by a few GPA points. A very miserable person indeed. Because in reality 2nd place is just the first loser.'"
Looking at the transition form high school, into a world of the unknown, Crandall used the locale to illustrate a bit.
"Tonight, our journey through high school will end with the receiving of our respective diplomas, but our many future expeditions will continue, and we will find ourselves traveling down roads filled with numerous potholes, much like the infamous I-86, whose renovation many of us are thankful for," he said. "Our travels through high school would not mean as much to us if it weren't for the extraordinary people who have embedded advice and guidance within us, not only for the last four years, but also throughout our entire lives."
In her comparison of school, and her class, Class of 2014 Speaker, Markie Mohr compared the class, and the years they have spent together as a novel, stopping in each literary section of the piece to make the point, from the circle rug in Kindergarten as the Exposition, all the way to the climatic roles of finally making it to high school, ultimately experiencing the falling action of senioritis and resolution on the stage, receiving that diploma.
"We have finished the final chapter, and even though our personal stories will continue, this book has reached its end," she concluded. "Our story is in our hands. We are the authors of our own autobiographies, whether we choose to write a comedy, adventure, or simply an inspiring tale. In any case, may we all get great reviews and, most importantly, be proud of our work. It has been an honor growing up with all of you and congratulations once again."
The Class of 2014 garnered awards and scholarships totaling around $450,000, some being extensive tuition scholarships awarded by colleges, including full-tuition awards.