LOWVILLE — Lowville Academy and Central School graduated 93 seniors June 21, although two were there in spirit.
Jaclyne E. Newton and Collin F. Stewart gave a moving reflection on two seniors who passed away over the course of their academic careers at Lowville Academy.
Jeffrey Smith passed away in 2009 from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Mr. Stewart recalled the diagnosis came when they were in second grade.
“As a young boy, Jeffrey acted as if he were a wise man trapped inside of a young boy’s body,” the senior said. “Jeffrey was our ray of sunshine, he was our comic relief, our artist, he was our words of wisdom, he was our fun loving boy, he was our classmate and he was our friend.”
Miss Newtown spoke on behalf of the late Alisha Kennell who passed away last fall.
“She was both fearless and responsible, profound and goofy, subtle and bold, happy in a crowd or by herself, said Miss Newtown.
She recalled an instant when the 17-year-old improvised a car wash to raise money for ice cream.
The two then read Linda Ellis’ “The Dash” in memory of their fallen classmates.
Another classmate unable to attend the ceremony was Jamie Merrill, who was a foreign exchange student in Germany this past year and was unable to return in time. He was one of many people streaming the ceremony live over the internet.
Class perspectives were given by National Honor Society president Catherine P. Lyndaker, Margaret M. Griffiths and Thomas I. Johnson.
Miss Lyndaker quoted Robert Fulghum, author of “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” at the opening of her speech.
“We are, each of us, a work in progress and our stories continue to unfold. But how blessed we were to have had each other along the way,” said Miss Lyndaker.
Miss Griffiths and Mr. Johnson addressed their classmates together in a comical look back at their expectations of the year 2014 — including flying cars — and their struggles to avoid assistant principal Brian Finn’s office. The duo also speculated no matter what their classmates get involved with, they will be able to keep in touch through social media.
Counselor Edward F. Steckly gave the commencement address, provided students with free candy, representative of sharing, as mentioned in Miss Lyndaker’s speech.
High school principal Daniel J. Cushing announced a new award during the prizes and memorial awards section, made up the morning of the ceremony. Bryan M. Bush took the inaugural Lowville Office Most Inspiring PA Announcer award.
Erin C. Fayle and Ryan A. Rubenzahl oversaw the alumni recognition and alma mater. Jeremy R. Ozkan gave a special recognition to class advisor Jessie Brown.