Victoria Winters receives flowers during the Crown Point Central School graduation ceremony. The Class of 2013 included 28 students.
Graduation can be a time of reflection, but not for Gabe Macey.
The Crown Point Central School valedictorian urged his classmates to look to the future during commencement exercises June 21.
“Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies,” Macey said in his valedictory address, quoting Ann Landers. “I could stand up here and reflect on the past four years of our lives, from winning sports titles to enjoying class trips, but instead I’m choosing to talk about the next four years.
“These next years mark the start of a new quarter in our game,” he said. “It does no good looking back on what we would’ve, could’ve or should’ve done. Instead we must look to what we can and will do. Our years in high school have been stepping stones for the years that have yet to come. It has helped us to develop into the leaders of the future.”
Macey then spoke about the importance of being a true leader.
“People tend to associate having a lot of skill and power with leadership,” he said. “Unfortunately, people who take advantage of the power they have and abuse or misuse it rarely have much influence. Failing to realize that a true leader is one who gives all the credit and takes all the blame, they tend to take any credit for themselves without any recognition of the contribution from others.
“We can be so quick to boast about ourselves and lose sight that some of the best things in life cannot be earned, but are given,” Macey said. “If we will realize this and give credit where it is due, to whom it is due, the influence and leadership we will develop in the lives of others will be life changing.”
The valedictorian urged classmates to always think of others.
“Amongst our successes we must remember others,” Macey said. “We all have different skill sets that allow us to accomplish different tasks. A true leader recognizes these differences and joins the group together to complete the challenges they face. For in the end, all of them are trying to achieve the same goal.
“So to the class of 2013, I challenge you to be a leader,” he concluded. “Look past the differences you see in others and instead look forward to the goals you have set for yourself. For the choices you make will affect your future. Robert Fulghum once said, ‘The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is the greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend to the grass wherever you may be.’”
Graduation was a conclusion for Michaela Comes, class salutatorian.
“The countdown for this day started on the first day of school and now we are getting ready to walk across the stage to receive our diplomas,” Comes said. “Then we will be walking away from something that has been a part of us for 13 years. We will be starting over in the coming months, starting college in the fall, going into the military and the work force. But we will have the memoirs that will last a life time from Crown Point Central School.”
Comes thanked her classmates and those who have supported them.
“I would now like to thank those who come here for the students — the teachers, parents, family, friends and coaches who have shaped us into the people that we are leaving this school,” she aid. “We are stronger and better because you have given us the tools we need to be great people.
“So in closing, I would like to say that this is our last day, our last moments as students and seniors,” Comes said. “Now we are getting ready to go into the world as adults. Wherever you go, go with your heart and never lose sight of your dreams.”
Crown Point presented diplomas to 28 students. The ceremony included a presentation of flowers, presentation of the class gift by Ellen Kiely, a musical performance by Drew Malone and Alexandra Macey, the awarding of scholarships and remarks by Mitch St. Pierre, school board president.