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Sullivan West Class of 2013 Graduates; Legacy of honors, achievement and memories

The traditional hats-in-the-air moment is celebrated at Sullivan West graduation.
TRR photo by Richard Ross

By Richard Ross
June 26, 2013

Arrayed in their caps and gowns, beaming with pride and savoring the moment, 93 Sullivan West graduates experienced a rite of passage through touching speeches, lovely music and finally the awarding of their well-deserved diplomas at the 2013 Sullivan West commencement ceremonies on June 22.

The gymnasium was filled with parents, friends, faculty and community members, as was the auditorium, which, for the first time, featured a live video stream of the proceedings for those seated therein. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, led by class treasurer Richard Lander, and the national anthem played by the band under the direction of Rossar Reynolds, the Sullivan West High School Senior Choir under the direction of Jerry Hoch gave a lovely rendition of “Defying Gravity,” from Wicked.

Superintendent Nancy Hackett gave her welcoming talk, noting how she felt she had been here so much more than just the one year since her arrival. She hearkened back to the class’s elementary, middle school and high school years and the learning milestones gained at each phase. “Keep learning, never stop trying and always keep growing,” she advised.

Salutatorian Adam Murphy brought a humorous tack to his speech that included a remarkable imitation of teacher/coach Ron Bauer’s sagacity. Murphy said that being second best was an honor, but that striving to be the best was always uppermost.

Seniors in band took up their instruments for the last time in school as the band played George Bizet’s “Farrandole.” Valedictorian Amanda Hulse implored her classmates to maintain their individuality, something the school supported along the way, and to “hold fast and stay true to yourselves.”

Senior class president Cassidy Sauer presented this year’s senior class gift, a new four-by-five-foot flag for the auditorium. High school principal Margaret Tenbus was delighted to have “the last word,” so to speak. She talked about the number 13 and its reputation for bad luck, which has given rise to something called triskaidekaphobia. It’s the fear of 13—something which clearly had no bearing on this year’s graduating class bearing the same number.