Le Roy's seniors navigated a pandemic, start new paths on life's journey
The Class of 2022 faced some difficult challenges but rose to the task, said Valedictorian Allison Privatera at Le Roy High School's commencement ceremony on Saturday.
"Against all odds, the COVID-19 pandemic prepared us for college curriculum, proved that we’re more resilient than we thought, and reminded us that while this year had its associated stress and grief, it could have been significantly worse," Privatera said.
She also had advice for the students coming up behind her class.
"To address our underclassmen, the main piece of advice I can give is to put in the time and effort to set yourself up for success, and that life really loves messing up your well-articulated plans, so don’t cling onto one too hard," she said.
Ninety-four Oatkan Knights received their diplomas during the ceremony.
Principal David Russell said that 23 of the graduates were heading off to two-year colleges, 50 are going to four-year schools, 13 have been hired or are entering the workforce, and one graduate is entering a four-year program connected to the military.
He quoted stoic philosopher Seneca: "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end."
"In life, there will always be conclusions and celebrations. These can include graduation and other of life's milestones," Russell said. I encourage you to do like we did today (earlier in his speech) and take a moment to reflect on what you accomplished in that journey."
Former principal Tim McArdle was selected by the Class of 2022 to deliver the keynote address.
McArdle shared his 10 bits of life advice:
- Start every day with a win: make your bed.
- Surround yourself with people who will be the best version of yourself.
- Be willing to step out of your comfort zone.
- Give back to your community.
- Don’t settle for anything in your life.
- Be present.
- Take care of yourself physically and mentally.
- Inspire and be inspired.
- Be you.
- Once a knight, always a knight.
"No matter where life’s journey takes you after this day, remember you are always a knight," McArdle said. "This school, this community, the alumni, and now your own class, are in your corner and ready to pick you up when you need it. They will always be here when you need them. Growing up here is special and sometimes taken for granted, but this is an unbelievable community that, regardless of your travels, you can always call it home."
Top photo: Valedictorian Allison Privatera.
Photos by Howard Owens.
Salutatorian Allyson Austin
The graduation ceremony was Trustee Denise Duthe's last official act as a member of the Board of Education.
Seniors in the school band performed between the speeches by the Salutatorian and valedictorian.
Evelyn Rose Babcock and David Russell