School holds ceremony for 31 graduates
ARKPORT — There were 31 students that received their high school diplomas on Monday evening during the Arkport Central School Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony.
Originally planned for Saturday, the event was delayed a few days due to the weather. But on Monday evening, everything lined up perfectly as the sun shined down on the graduates and their families.
The ceremony started with the traditional processional before a speech was made by Claire Smith and Lisa Groff. The pair read an excerpt from Robert Fulgham’s “All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten,” which allowed the students to be reminded of some of the most important things in life like; saying sorry, taking naps and of course, always have a daily dose of warm cookies and cold milk.
Salutatorian Holly LaFrance then took the stage and gave her own list of things learned in kindergarten.
“I would like to start at the beginning: Kindergarten. We learned to share, play fair, clean up our messes, not to take things that don’t belong to us, put things back where we found them, and apologize to someone when we hurt them,” said LaFrance.
But LaFrance focused on one particular kindergarten skill above all else, which was waiting your turn.
“This has a much deeper meaning. Waiting your turn does not just apply to the classroom, it applies as we grow and reach adulthood. Waiting your turn means having patience. Whatever you would like to achieve in life requires patience and will not come easy,” said LaFrance. “You must wait your turn to discover what you were truly meant for and what makes you happy in life. Meet new people, fail, try again, succeed, make new memories and make mistakes. Have patience because all good things take time.”
LaFrance then welcomed valedictorian Meghan Patrick to the stage, who not only focused on the present, but looked forward to the future as well.
“I don’t think any of us could have predicted finishing our senior year in sweats, at home, on the couch, through zoom. But we have to look for the positives in any situation. Senior year did not end as we anticipated, but we are gathered here tonight for one last farewell to our days at ACS,” said Patrick. “We are ready to make new friends, excited to continue to learn and experience new places and adventures. We might be feeling excited, anxious and have some fear of the unknown… Find your purpose, and you will find your path.”
From there, a musical selection was played by a former student at Arkport, Lukas Jassak, who moved to Germany in eighth grade but still found a way to be with the graduating class of 2020.
All 31 graduates were then presented with their diplomas, and upon receding, went to the back end of the field were a reception was held for all those in attendance.
While it was not the prom or the sports banquets or any other senior gathering that would have been promised, it was a fitting way to send off the Class of 2020 with one last get-together.