‘Incredible’ group celebrated in Silver Creek
SILVER CREEK – The Silver Creek Class of 2022 has faced significant amounts of uncertainty and turmoil in their high school tenure. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, they were wrapping up their sophomore year, and have spent over two years of their high school career facing it. But through all of that, the 76 members each received both their diplomas and moments of gratification.
High School Principal Kyle Yelich introduced the graduates, and despite only being at the school for two months in his role, he said he felt he got to know the class well in such a short time. He also listed off the achievements of the class as a whole, which he noted were plentiful.
“We have graduates from BOCES, students who have competed in SkillsUSA, outperformed dozens of other schools across the state,” said Yelich. “We have record setting athletes. We have Division I athletes going to college on full scholarship right here from Silver Creek. Before us tonight we have advocates, allies, humanitarians, volunteers. We have scholars and future teachers … future military personnel. Their feats are incredible and it’s only the beginning.”
Class Salutatorian Abby Rice talked about the hardship faced by her class over the last two years, saying that she and her classmates spent a lot of time just trying to get by, when they should have been able to hit their stride. But as Rice said, thanks to their teachers, mentors, and most importantly, each other, they persevered through it.
“It would have been easy to give up and make excuses,” she said. “It would have been easy to quit. Instead, we persevered. We adjusted. We adapted and we pushed forward. No, it probably didn’t go exactly to plan. I’m sure all of us look back and wonder how everything would have or could have turned out minus a worldwide pandemic. But what would be the point of that? Instead, let’s remember and celebrate the familiarity that was at least restored for our senior year.”
Class Valedictorian Jade Bouvier, who will set off to become a Naval Officer, gave her advice to her classmates in her speech, encouraging them to never give up, and wishing them all success in their post-high school careers.
“My best advice is to not give up,” said Bouvier. “And not in a stupid, motivational way, in more of if you stop now, you’ll forever stop your life. I want each and every one of you to leave this school doing whatever it is you’re doing, and I want you to look at it and tell yourself you’re not quitting. This quitting could be leaving a job or dropping out of college.”
Jade Lewis from the Class of 2014 served as Friday night’s commencement speaker. Lewis graduated from Syracuse University wanting to live in New York City and work in TV. Lewis was able to follow her dreams, working as an Associate Producer at Imagine Entertainment.
“Manifestation works,” said Lewis. “And step one is admitting to yourself that you do, in fact, care. When I was a senior on our chorus trip to New York City, I decided that’s where I’d live eventually. When I was a freshman in college, I decided I wanted to work in television and film one day, and now I do.”
Following the receipt of their diplomas, the graduates gathered outside their now alma mater to celebrate with their fellow classmates and families, preparing for their next steps as they leave Silver Creek High School and head out into the world.