Camillus For West Genesee Central School District Superintendent Chris Brown, this year's graduation ceremony was extra special.
"I have known these graduates since their freshman year, which was also my first year in the district," he told the families and students of the Class of 2012 during Saturday's commencement held at the Onondaga County War Memorial. "As part of their orientation to the high school, I challenged them to work together to transform the high school into what they would want their own children to be a part of some day."
The Class of 2012 took that challenge and ran with it, Brown said.
"Not only does this particular class have one of the highest academic averages in our history, they collectively have found unparalleled success in fine arts, athletics and social causes," he said. "They fostered a higher level of respect, promoted helping others, and modeled what it looks like to be a high school student and still have some fun. To say that I have enjoyed my time with this group would be an understatement."
In closing, Brown offered words of goodbye and challenged the students once again:
"To the Class of 2012, we have laughed together, cried together, learned and led together, experienced good times and bad, but now it is time for me to let you go.
"As a final challenge, I ask you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Enjoy your families, they helped you get to where you are today. When the dust settles shortly, remember all that you have been through and all that you have learned. Seize your opportunity. Blaze pathways for yourselves and others and never ever take your lives for granted."