‘A will to succeed’

OBSERVER Photo by Jo Ward The Dunkirk Summer Graduation Class of 2019 was honored at Dunkirk High School Tuesday. Front row, left to right: Chaelee Vega and Natasha Marrero. Back row, left to right: Taneisharys Nevarez Lopez, Keyshly Velez, Christian Rosario, Kayin Odebralski, Orlando Casablanca, Evonnah Thomas, D’Vante Casey and Brenden Polowy. Missing from the photo was Danyell Butts.

Ten excited young people marched into the Dunkirk High School Auditorium Tuesday and left with smiles on their faces as they walked out graduates.

Prior to the regular meeting of the Dunkirk Board of Education, a small ceremony was held to honor a group of kids who graduated from high school during the summer. Those honored were Orlando Casablanca, D’Vante Casey, Natasha Marrero, Taneisharys Nevarez Lopez, Kayin Odebralski, Brenden Polowy, Christian Rosario, Evonnah Thomas, Chaelee Vega and Keyshly Velez, missing was Danyell Butts.

The program, led by Business Teacher Michele Dawley, opened with Senior Class President Ethan Yannie reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and giving opening remarks.

“Be responsible for the eventual outcome of your life, you’ve been given the greatest power in the world, the power to choose,” Yannie addressed the crowd. “Many people in the world feel trapped by their surrounding circumstances, that they cannot better their lives because of their current conditions. The relationships we’re in, our environment, or even the way we perceive the world around us can cause us to feel stuck within our own lives, but life is not a burden, it’s a gift and it’s a gift that we all share. If there is a will to succeed, there’s a way to achieve.”

Interim Superintendent Sylvia Root congratulated the graduates for their perseverance and dedication in their hard work and achievement in receiving their high school diplomas, while High School Principal Alan Gens gave his blessing that all criteria was achieved.

Diplomas were awarded to much fanfare by families and friends that had clustered into the auditorium. Following the presentation, Dawley, once more, told the students to go forward and that many more great achievements await them on their way. She left the class with a parting remark from Thomas Edison: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try, just one more time.”