Johnsburg Central School seniors take part in their graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 22.
The theme of the commencement ceremony for Johnsburg Central School’s class of 2013 was the importance of community and hard work.
Guest speaker Jaime Fuller, a JCS class of 2007 graduate, went on to earn a degree from Middlebury College, and now lives and works in Washington, D.C. She is currently an associate editor at The American Prospect.
“It feels strange being up here just six years after graduating myself,” Fuller said. “What I can share with you is that over the next few years you will have a lot of new experiences and meet a lot of new people. Try to absorb as much as you can from every situation.”
At the same time, Fuller urged students not to forget Johnsburg.
“Ernest Hemingway once said that Paris was a ‘moveable feast’ because if you were lucky enough to spend time in Paris as a young person, then wherever you go afterwards, for the rest of your life, it will stay with you,” Fuller said. “Well, Johnsburg is a moveable feast, too. Even though I live far away, and only get to visit twice a year, I’m always telling people stories from growing up here.”
“I encourage all of you to explore because it’s a big world out there, but don’t forget Johnsburg,” Fuller said.
Salutatorian Shannon Ovitt, was graduating as a member of the National Honor Society, with an Advanced Regents Diploma, and achieved Mastery in Science (received 85 or higher on three Science Regents exams).
“People always talk about opportunity as if it’s something that just happens for some,” said Ovitt. “I believe that opportunity is there for everybody, but that it takes action to make it a reality.”
She explained how enjoying an amazing class trip first required her to sign up for an elective class and work during the summer to save money—all actions that she had to take responsibility for.
“Be nice to people,” Ovitt said. “Whether, it’s making the most of any situation or in applying for a job, you get back what you give. I want to thank everyone here at Johnsburg for all the opportunities for success that were made available to me.”
Valedictorian Kayla Williford shared with the audience her experience of overcoming speech difficulties in school.
“While most students in fourth grade were reading fluently, I was still struggling with basic sounds,” said Williford. “It would take hours and years of hard work before I didn’t have to leave class to take a test.”
It was the combination of her own hard work and the support of her parents and teachers that helped overcome her difficulty.
“If someone had told my parents that a few years later, I would be standing up before my whole class and giving a speech as valedictorian, they wouldn’t have believed them, but here I am, doing just that,” she said.
Wall of Fame
Superintendent Michael Markwica told the audience that they were starting a new tradition this year. They would be celebrating past alumni for outstanding achievements. These alumni would be listed on a Wall of Fame and receive certificates of recognition. Each awardee would be asked to share a piece of advice with the graduating class. Below are the selected alumni for 2013:
•Daniel F. O’Keefe, MD. Class of 1938. His advice: “Family first, Faith, and Hard Work.”
•Gene Arsenault. Class of 1964. His advice: “Try to live your life and be kind, thoughtful, and considerate toward others. That’s really what’s important to me. There are always people of need that you can help.”
•Mary Jordan Nevins, M.D. Class of 1981. Her advice: “I make sure I laugh every day. I try to treat people with respect and compassion. I accept challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.”
•Robert Wing. Class of 1990. His advice: “Surround yourself with very positive people.”
•Staff Sgt. Kevin Kimmerly. Class of 1991. His advice: He believed in helping others, in selflessness, and leading by example. Kimmerly who was assigned to the B Battery, Fourth of the 27th Field Artillery regiment of the 1st Armored Division, U.S. Army, was killed in action in 2003.
Samuel Allison received a special certificate of recognition. He taught at JCS for 34 years. He was hired as an elementary school teacher in 1962 and retired in 1995. He also coached Varsity and Modified Soccer; JV and Modified Baseball; Modified Basketball; and Elementary Basketball and Soccer during his 40 years of coaching at JCS. As Varsity Soccer coach, he led his teams to 10 league championships and eight sectional championships, and in 1982, a state co-championship. His advice to the graduating seniors was, “Make every day your masterpiece.”
Below is a list of the graduates and the awards and scholarships awarded:
Graduates: Ethan Cooper, Brooke Denno, Colleen Fuller, Colby Gage, Anna Gahan, Mikayla Glode, Tiffany Goyer, Lydia Knickerbocker, Jonathan Ordway, Shannon Ovitt, Kaleb Persons, Nicholas Porter, Chester Prouty, Jonathan Sears, Nicole Tedrick, Olivia TenEyck, Zachary Watson, Kayla Williford, and Thomas Wilson
National Honor Society Members: Colleen Fuller, Mikayla Glode, Lydia Knickerbocker, Jonathan Ordway, Shannon Ovitt, Kayla Williford
Advanced Regent’s Diploma with Honors: Lydia Knickerbocker, Shannon Ovitt
Mastery in Science (special distinction for receiving 85 or higher on three Science Regent’s exams): Shannon Ovitt
Awards and Scholarships
Americanism Award: Jonathan Sears
American Red Cross Award: Mikayla Glode
Maynard Baker Funeral Home, Inc. “Sobering Thought” Award: Colleen Fuller
BlueShield of Northeastern New York Scholarship: Mikayla Glode
Harrison and Ruth Braley Memorial Awards: Ethan Cooper and Shannon Ovitt
Crary Education Fund Scholarships: Ethan Cooper, Mikayla Glode, and Jonathan Sears
Duxbury Yeaw Visual Arts Scholarship: Kayla Williford
French Department Award: Mikayla Glode
Lonnie Gage Memorial Scholarship: Colby Gage
Eugene Galusha Scholarship: Colby Gage
Sandy Hunter Memorial Scholarship: Shannon Ovitt
Johnsburg Central School Choral Award: Lydia Knickerbocker
James & Pauline McSweeney Murphy Award: Lydia Knickerbocker
NYS Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association: Jonathan Sears
North Creek American Legion Auxiliary Award: Lydia Knickerbocker
North Creek Volunteer Fire Company Music Award: Jonathan Ordway
Nancy M. Pierson Scholarship: Colleen Fuller
The Southern Adirondack District #9 Retiree Council Education Award: Colleen Fuller
Rotary Club of North Creek Award: Kayla Williford
John Philip Sousa Award: Jonathan Sears
Dollars for Scholars Community Awards: Ethan Cooper, Colleen Fuller, Mikayla Glode, Lydia Knickerbocker, Jonathan Ordway, Shannon Ovitt, Jonathan Sears, Kayla Williford, Zachary Watson and Thomas Wilson
Thomas Ainslie Memorial Award: Shannon Ovitt
Barton Mines Company, LLC Award: Zachary Watson
John and Mildred Beale Memorial Award: Kayla Williford
Elizabeth & Philip C. Brassel Award: Ethan Cooper
Catherine and William Fahy Memorial Award: Mikayla Glode
James J. O’Keeffe Memorial Award: Shannon Ovitt
Jane F. & Sterling J. Goodspeed Memorial Award: Jonathan Ordway
The Johnsburg Central School Teachers’ Association Award: Kayla Williford
Joyce Villa Kurach Award: Mikayla Glode
Benjamin Little Memorial Award: Lydia Knickerbocker
Northwoods Club Award: Lydia Knickerbocker
Oak Leaf Health Professional’s Scholarship: Jonathan Ordway
Robert J. Sweet Memorial Award: Jonathan Sears
Claire F. Sweet Memorial Award: Colleen Fuller
Harold Zeller Scholarship: Jonathan Ordway