ELDRED, NY — “Time heals all wounds” was the message proclaimed by guest speaker Roger Bisland as he stood before the crowd that had assembled on the front lawn of Eldred Central School (ECS) on June 23rd, 2012. The junior senior high school was about to present its newest graduates, the phenomenal seniors, to a realistic world in which graduation is only a milestone and the opportunity to graduate is a continual life process.
The graduating students were now prepared to accept the challenges of a future on their own. Duos of mutually blended genders interlocked arms, and descended the steps of their Alma matter to the traditional melody of “Pomp and Circumstance,” followed by the singing of the National Anthem by the senior members of the chorus.
High School principal, Scott Krebs, welcomed the rapidly arriving family members, friends, and faculty along with the graduates. Krebs presented a short and inspirational speech relating his experiences and those he’s shared with the students throughout the past year. Krebs concluded his remarks by stating, “I am proud to have been your principal.” He then invited guest speaker Roger Bisland to the podium for his address to the graduating class.
Roger Bisland, an alumnus from ECS addressed the graduates with his speech relating that faith in others can help in resolving the greatest of issues or troubles. Bisland emphasized that one simple four letter word can change everything, and that word is “help.” He stressed the benefits of attending a smaller school and how it has its advantages, and how all should aspire to continue growing. Bisland stated, “Move forward and aspire to have a never give up attitude, but work hard and show respect and always offer to help!” As his motivating speech came to an end the students rose in applause and Bisland reminded them one more time that, “Hard work can get you far.”
Throughout the ceremony, various awards were presented to numerous members of the graduating class for their achievements. Barb Thompson awarded the Academic Achievement Award to Rebecca Schadt followed by Bonnie Robertson’s induction into the ECS Hall of Fame. Robertson’s induction was a result of her numerous achievements throughout the community and her generosity towards the students of Eldred Central School.
The Valedictorian, Erika Bowring opted not make a speech; however, Christine Donnelly read the student address with a smile representing the joy felt by all of her classmates. Fellow student, Hunter Proscia, added a humorous element to the ECS ceremony shortly after, when he led the graduating body in “the wave” demonstrating that the seniors had become a family, and their conjoined humor had illuminated this brilliantly. Every award given was well earned and when the ceremony concluded, 61 diplomas had been presented.
As the graduates threw their caps into the air, eager to begin a new journey, their eyes portrayed memories of their past. The graduating class moves on to grow and prosper throughout their future lives, but they will always be recognized as the 2012 graduates of the Eldred Central High School.
[The River Reporter invites student coverage of local high school graduations. Three students covered the ECS ceremony. Tiffany Reed is a junior at ECS].