WESTPORT - The 16 graduates of Westport Central School's Class of 2009 are leaving well prepared for the next steps in their lives, and with an appreciation for the community that has molded them.
At their graduation ceremony June 27, class salutatorian Sean Davis thanked school faculty and staff for providing a top notch education.
"This combination of support and academics gives the Westport Community a certain feel," said Davis. "I've come to realize over the years that the 'x-factor' for that feeling is simply great people. From the kindergartners to the old timers, the people around here are second to none in my book, and it's been an honor for me to be able to spend the last few years of my life around such amazing people."
Davis, who transferred to the school in sixth grade, fondly recalled his experiences building relationships with his fellow classmates through participation in sports, drama productions, and other extracurricular activities.
"People familiar with this group will tell you that we have some real characters here, and I can certainly confirm that," he said. "We have never been taken with trying to be like everybody else."
"Now we're all about to leave the cozy confines of Westport Central, looking to build upon our current accomplishments," Davis added. "Having seen the talents of each and every member of our class I have no doubt that we will all find some success in our future endeavors."
Class valedictorian Zachary Sherman recalled how, since first coming to Westport as a kindergartner, he had anxiously awaited graduation.
"Over the last few weeks, I realized this is it, and I wasn't as excited as I thought I would be. I began thinking about all the great times I've had with my classmates and with other former and current students."
"I've spent nine to 10 hours a day in this building, on these grounds," he added. "I wasn't exactly sure whether or not I was ready to just suddenly stop coming here. There are seven of us that have remained here since kindergarten and I'm sure they feel the same way; maybe not right now, but soon."
Sherman, too, credited the school with preparing students well for the road ahead, but emphasized how much his fellow classmates would be missed.
"Congratulations to all of you for sticking through 13 years of learning, and I wish each of you the best of luck with your young, brilliant future." said Sherman. "I know we've been groomed for success."