Silver Creek graduates cross the finish line
SILVER CREEK — Graduates of 2020 crossed the stage — track — Friday, earning their high school diplomas.
Only half of the class graduated Friday; the other half scheduled to walk on Sunday. The administration split up the ceremony into four parts, by last name, so each of the graduates could have five family members attend, but still keep the number of people under 150. They had to do this because of the orders by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Be thankful for what you have and not what you’ve lost or don’t have,” Thomas Buczkowski, principal, said. “Look around and see all the family that came to support all of you.”
Buczkowski spoke of remembering the great times the graduates did have, before the pandemic. He explained that the 105 days the students could not come to school prepared them for after graduation. “You didn’t have bells to dismiss you, you didn’t have to go to practice after school,” Buczkowski said. “Now all of a sudden it was open-ended, you had to be more responsible for yourself and your studies, and guess what? That’s what post-graduation looks like.”
Stephen Boothe, President of the Board of Education then gave some wise words to the graduating class. “You’re here tonight, about to literally cross the finish line,” Boothe said. “That’s because you’ve persevered for your education. Class after class, day after day, and year after year. Don’t ever sell this accomplishment short.”
Student speaker Bridgette Ewing Valedictorian spoke solemnly, “I’m at a loss for words as I assume most of you are as well,” Ewing said. “We all thought this would only last a couple weeks or maybe a month. The final decision was heartbreaking. … But I would like to say thank you to the teachers, friends and families.”
Ewing addressed strength, relations, and family in her speech. She explained that all the graduates of 2020 have a different kind of strength, that is united but independent between them. She spoke of the relationships the class has made with each other, growing up with one another for 12 years. “Family will not always be smiles and a good time,” Ewing said. “But family will always be there.”
The guest speaker of the graduation was Dr. Scott Crino, class of 1987, Silver Creek High School. Crino is a veteran and has multiple college degrees. He now owns a business that provides services to the government and private businesses. He spoke directly to the students, congratulating them on their first big achievement in their life and told them a story. His story was called “A Professor and a Mayonnaise jar.”
“The professor pulled out a large mayonnaise jar and filled it with golf balls, and asked the students if it was full. They replied, ‘yes’. Then, the professor poured pebbles into the jar and asked the same questions to the students, which came with the same reply. The professor then poured sand in the jar, and asked if it was full. ‘Yes,’ said the students, but then he grabbed two cups of coffee and poured them into the jar, filling in all the space left,” Crino said. “This jar represents your life. The golf balls represent the important things in life, like family and friends. The pebbles, other smaller important things, like education or a car. The sand represents all the small stuff. Focus on the golf balls before the sand.”
Dr. Crino then gave the students their own golf balls, with a Black Knights logo on it, hoping they would remember his story whenever they look at it.
The students then walked across the stage, accepting a rose and their diplomas, celebrating their perseverance and achievements.