The Minerva Central School Class of 2012 includes Amanda Bellotti, Shasti Conlon, Tara Galusha, Massena Green, Briana Hammond, Shane LaFond, Conner O’Brien, Christopher O’Connor, Austin Roy and Dylan Saville.
Minerva Central School graduated 10 students on Saturday, June 23.
Former Superintendent Ann Jaeger, valedictorian Tara Galusha, and salutatorian Dylan Saville addressed the Class of 2012 with heartfelt speeches about the importance of community, family and finding one’s place in the world outside it.
Saville addressed his class and the guests first with a short speech about the power of emotion, noting both the intense happiness and sadness felt by both his fellow seniors and the audience. He said he was “feeling a little dizzy” standing on stage and thanked everyone who came to support his class.
Jaeger, retired from her position six years ago when the class of 2012 was in sixth grade, said she was surprised the seniors invited her to speak, thinking they must have had a “senior moment” when making their decision. She then reminded the seniors that they would one day grow old, and to enjoy the time they had between now and then. She urged them to follow their hearts without regrets but to be aware of the effects their future actions will have.
Prior to the ceremony, Jaeger asked seniors where they planned to be in 10 years. She read their answers and challenged them to look back in 10 years to see if they reached their goals.
She ended her speech saying how it seemed like only yesterday the seniors were entering kindergarten, then middle school, and they should take special care to remember their graduation because “tomorrow it will only be yesterday.”
While Jaeger spoke about the future, Galusha decided to focus her words on the past. Her speech chronicled the life of her class and their “weird love-hate relationship,” from their days in kindergarten playing with inflatable letters to having bonfires in strange places during their high school days.
Galusha noted how hard it was to come up with words to describe their “family.” She described the whole of Minerva as a family and said her class was lucky to have that foundation of love to propel them into the future.
“Our lives are going to be so much bigger that we could possibly plan,” Galusha said. “You haven’t heard the last of the Class of 2012.”
Superintendent Timothy Farrell delivered the ceremony’s closing remarks. He started by honoring Brian O’Conner for 10 years of service on the School Board, and Lester Sternin, who served on the board for 20 years. Sternin is retiring from his position at the end of this month. While Sternin was not able to make it to the ceremony, Farrell presented his daughter, Ronnie Silver, with a plaque commemorating his years of service.
Farrell had only a few words for the seniors. He said they should use the talents they have, take the time to discover new ones, to always believe in themselves and what they do matters.
The graduation ceremony also featured performances by the school concert band and senior chorus.