AuSable Valley graduates make the processional walk during the school’s commencement ceremony June 22.
Families, friends, teachers and classmates gathered to celebrate graduation of the class of 2013 at Ausable Valley Central School on June 22.
The 82 students were led in to the AVCS gymnasium by bagpiper William Long.
“We’re very proud of our graduates, at AuSable Valley Central School,” said Superintendent Paul Savage. “You’ve earned this day and we’re thrilled to be a part of this, soak up this day and every moment and don’t forget where you came from, once a Patriot, always a Patriot.”
Savage told the graduates no matter what, the people who came to support them and their school would always be there for them in the future, though the students would graduate it wouldn’t be good bye.
Salutatorian Nicklas Makowski spoke to his classmates and said the many adventures students had gone through had shaped who they have become.
“All of our time here has led up to this moment,” said Makowski.
Valedictorian Evan Maicus took to the stage to say his time at the school helped nurture him to be a free thinker.
“High school is a magical place full of mind bending theatrics. If I, as a high schooler, feel a caterpillar can be great, that is my business and with a school system like ours based on tolerance, you best let me be,” said Maicus. “If I happen to believe I am a caterpillar all power to me. For those of you who followed that, thank you for being supportive. For those of you who didn’t, I think I’m a caterpillar,” said Maicus.
Maicus went on to say to his classmates that though they enjoyed their time at AVCS it is their right to leave.
“It is our job to never forget what we are doing here, in this land where we can have our cake and eat it too, lots and lots of cake,” said Maicus.
Guest speaker for the ceremony was a familiar face to the school. Former student, Michaela Bushey, told the graduating students a true success story.
“Whatever it is you plan to do, know that your success is exactly what you make it to be,” said Bushey.
The AVCS graduate had left to pursue a dual major in music and music education and faced the unthinkable on July 4, 2010. Bushey had been involved in an accident that caused her to loose function in most of her body including her legs and arms.
“I’ve heard the word tragedy quite a bit in regards to my situation, and so I looked up the true meaning of tragedy,” said Bushey. “Most people, if not all have experienced a tragedy in one way or another or known someone who has. If you haven’t already, you will experience a tragedy in your life time.”
At first Bushey said it was hard for her to imagine how she would achieve her former dreams of becoming successful in her music career when her new goals were to retain movement in her hand. She said some days she wouldn’t even want to get out of bed. But she said the progress she made was not achieved while she slept. Bushey said it took a lot of hard work with a physical therapist and constant practice on her road to recovering functions she had lost after the accident.
“Most days nothing would happen, then one day there was hope, I would move a new finger, discover a new sort of treatment in my research,” said Bushey. “I didn’t think I would quote Newt Gingrigh but he said, “perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
Bushey finished her speech with a quote from Nelson Mandela.
“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”