Jun 25, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The 138-member Class of 2013 graduated from Cazenovia High School on Saturday, June 22, amid temperate weather and blue skies, watched and celebrated by more than 1,000 family and friends. In keeping with district tradition, the school held its 82nd annual commencement ceremony on the tree-ringed front lawn of Cazenovia Middle School.
“Be proud and continue to set high goals … never, ever give up on your dreams,” High School Principal Eric Schnabl told the graduates. “There will always be a little bit of blue and gold in each and every one of you.”
The ceremonies began as the blue-gowned graduates, all carrying yellow roses, proceeded from the main doors of the high school to their seats near the stage amid the “Pomp and Circumstance” processional music played by the Cazenovia High School Brass Ensemble. The national anthem was then sung by graduate candidates Kathleen Connellan and Kelsey Henderson.
Superintendent of Schools Robert Dubik congratulated the class for its many achievements, both inside the classroom and out, and urged the graduates to face whatever challenges lay ahead with “courage, determination and an open mind.”
“You are a part of Cazenovia school district history,” he said. “You have achieved much, but the best is yet to come.”
In her class greeting, valedictorian Jessy Silfer wondered about the seemingly unlucky number “13” carried by the Class of 2013, but said, “Instead of allowing the year to dictate to us, we accomplished a lot for our district and our community. We made 2013 a lucky year.”
She listed a string of accomplishments the members of her class achieved during the 2012-13 school year, including regional, section and statewide athletic titles, an Academic Decathlon statewide win, many FFA awards and the “fantastic production” of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” by the drama club.
“None of these things were a product of luck; we made them happen,” she said. “We don’t need luck. What we need is passion, determination and to be ourselves.”
Class speaker Carson Clabeaux thanked the assembled parents for their 12 years of support. “We, the Class of 2013, are here where we are and where we’ll go because of you,” he said.
The day’s keynote address was given by 2004 Cazenovia High School alumnus Nicholas Ciarelli, who founded the Apple news site “Think Secret,” helped launch The Daily Beast and is now working on a new web venture called BookBub. He graduated from Harvard University in 2008.
Ciarelli urged the graduates to figure out their passions, and then follow them.
“Choosing to do what you love can be so much harder than it sounds,” Ciarelli said. “There’s an inertia that can make it easier to ignore your dreams … Follow what you love as it unfolds — and don’t worry about the planning.”
After the presenting of awards and scholarships — and the Class of 2013 won a total of $1.5 million in college scholarships and logged 11,850 hours of community service during their time in high school, according to Principal Eric Schnabl — and a rendition of “For Good,” a song from the musical, “Wicked,” by the Cazenovia High School Chamber Choir, Schnabl, Dubik and Board of Education President Fritz Koennecke presented the diplomas.
With a loud applause and cheer, the shifting of cap tassels from one side to the other and the tossing of graduation caps into the air, the Cazenovia High School Class of 2013 completed the day’s ceremonies and became a part of Cazenovia history.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.