Marcellus grads say farewell

Marcellus High School Commencement 2008

"Pomp and Circumstance" filled the air as the Marcellus High School Symphonic Band heralded the Class of 2008 to the Marcellus High School Commencement 2008 Ceremony held on June 29 in the Groeling Auditorium. Student Council President Emily Garrant led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Marcellus High School Select Choir "True Sound," directed by Brian Ackles, sang the Alma Mater. Togetherness was the theme of the day as a variety of speakers shared their thoughts with the Class of 2008. Senior Class President Brian Walter talked of the class "evolving from independent learners in elementary school to a learning team in high school". He offered this piece of advice as he closed his remarks, "Keep your face toward the sunshine and your shadow will always be behind you." John Birmingham, high school science teacher and the class-selected speaker, told the audience that "the Class of 2008 is a truly unique and special group of students who only come along once in a great while." He spoke of the "collective spirit" of the class and encouraged the graduating class to always ask the challenging questions and to never lose their spirit. Honors speaker Kyle Blackmer shared that graduation was a "celebration of relationships and achievements." He spoke of the positive attributes of the Class of 2008, "whether it was building block structures in Kindergarten or completing senior projects in high school, we have always had the drive. We made it through this phase of our life and we did it together There is one thing my education hasn't taught me, though, how to describe the love I have for this class." Commencement speaker Senator John DeFrancisco followed up on the theme of "togetherness" as he shared his thoughts, "The secret of life is really just one word, care!" DeFrancisco told the class that they were successful because of the care of parents, families, coaches, teachers and themselves. He described the letters of the word "care" as standing for Character, Attitude, Responsibility, and Excellence. A special highlight of the Commencement ceremony was the dedication of the fine arts department's new "grand piano." Dr. Craig Tice drew the connection between past and future as he dedicated the grand piano in honor of former Marcellus teacher Mary Ramsden and former Marcellus student Dan Garrison. He related that the gift was a testament to the love of music shared by both Ramsden and Garrison. Tice also described the collaborative funding effort, "many hands make light work." Funds for the grand piano were raised through a 2007 Senior Project "Prism Concert" facilitated by Chris Ramsden and Chris McArdell, donations from the Ramsden and Garrison families, and state grant funding secured through the efforts of Senator DeFrancisco. Following the dedication, alumni George Ryan accompanied on the piano as "True Sound" sang "The Awakening." Highlights from the Commencement 2008 ceremony included:

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