PARISHVILLE - Salutatorian Michaela Conventry encouraged her classmates to embrace, not fear, the future during her address to her 42 classmates Saturday morning at Parishville-Hopkinton Central School.
Dreams are what help people change the world like Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Dreams dont just have to be about world peace or equal rights. It can just be as simple as the dream to have an education, the class salutatorian reminded a stage filled with classmates clad in red and white caps and gowns.
The dreams that I am sure many of my fellow classmates and I started out with were the dreams to graduate high school and become independent. Today is the day that these dreams are going to be fulfilled, and we can start to reach for new goals, Ms. Coventry said.
Our future is totally up to us now. We dont have anyone making our decisions for us or always telling us what is good for us. It can be scary to think we have barely made a dent in our lives, and we dont know what the future has in store for us, she said.
If we did know, then the future wouldnt be any fun. Our future can always change and if you think your future is not going to be very bright, there is always time to take a new path.
She also told the class of 2012 to pursue their dreams.
For some of us are new dream may be graduating from college, becoming successful in the work force, or even starting a new family in the near future. The amazing thing about dreams is that the possibilities are endless and no one can take them away from us. Your dreams can be as big as you want them to be, she said.
They are what help make you who you are, and big dreams give you the opportunity to leave your mark on the world.
Valedictorian Monique Jenkinson said she received the inspiration for her speech from reading a posting from a future classmate on Facebook. It talked about the importance of home.
For most of us, weve called this little school, Parishville-Hopkinton, for the past 13 years. When our parents werent there, our teachers were. This school has helped make us into the amazing people we are today, she said.
Although many of you would rather run away and not look back, we should take time to appreciate those who have done so much for us to get to the point in our lives that we are now at. Each of the teachers in this school gave us some wisdom to carry with us into our future. Considering what they pay some of you, I cant thank you enough, the class of 2012 valedictorian said.
Not only am I thankful for the faculty at this school, Im thankful for my family. It my understanding that not all of us on this stage today were the easiest children to raise. Even through tough times family always stayed close and has made me a stronger person. I guess what trying to say graduates as you walk across this stage know that we have made a lot of people proud - teachers, friends and family, she added.
Class President Elisabeth Lavelle spoke of her appreciation of coming from a small school.
Today is the end of one of the first chapters in our lives, a chapter that held many great accomplishments and memories that will never be forgotten, she said. I know everyone by their name and if it were any bigger I wouldnt have the close friends I have today.
She recounted some of those memories, including building the Titanic out of Popsicle sticks and kickball games in elementary school, the eighth grade class trip to the beach, and the water fight the last day of senior year.
But the biggest smile came when she recalled an outdoor education trip.
None of us of us will ever forget Mr. (Glenn) Clarks animal and bird noises or his hikes. On yes, Mr. Clarks hikes, especially the one where they had to call out the search and rescue helicopter for Fred, Tyler, Dillon, Matt and Nick. The teacher chaperones took it all in stride, placing bets on what time the boys would be found, she recalled.
We all have made memories that we get to leave with today, stories about each other, most of us can look at one another and instantly have a story that could cause a good laugh, she said. These years at Parishville-Hopkinton Central School have helped mold us into the young men and women we are today.
Minutes later, she would be leading her classmates as they moved their tassels signifying they had moved from students at Parishville-Hopkinton to graduates.
Diplomas, scholarships and awards in hand, they then marched up the auditorium steps one last time - this time with a ticket in hand to begin the next stage of their lives.