FONDA - Honor students spoke at Saturday's commencement ceremony at Fonda-Fultonville Central School about the friendships they developed over the years.
"I'll never forget my time here at FFCS with all of you," Tyler Myers told his classmates.
He called his speech "Definition," saying he wanted to give himself a definition and encourage his friends to search for their own as well.
Victoria Mazzuca, left, adjusts the mortarboard of Zachary Viscosi prior to the commencement at Fonda-Fultonville Central School on Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
"I don't crave to be the center of conversation, but to be a small, unforgettable fact that sticks in the back of everyone's mind," he said. "I feel as though I've done that over the past four years."
He quoted actor Danny Kaye as he encouraged his classmates to find their own definitions.
"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can," he said.
Honor student Brad Steiger titled his speech "The Ripple Effect." He praised several of his classmates individually for the personality traits they displayed, saying each had a positive effect on his life. He talked about Ashley McDuffee's self-confidence, Tyler Myers's work ethic, Rebecca Fox's ability to overcome obstacles, Alexa Mancini's and Katelyn Simonds's kindness and Kelsey Habla's ability to balance extracurricular activities, school work, a job and a social life.
"There are countless others who have been a positive force so far in my life, but I'm running out of time," he said. "Each of us has created our own ripple, and as those ripples interact - overlapping, crashing, submerging - thousands of new ringlets are created," he said. "High school is only a drop in the bucket, but my, what an effect that one tiny drop can have."
Charles Parslow said he and his classmates have been talking about graduation for a long time.
"I have made numerous friends in the last 13 years at Fonda, through sports or simply in school," he said. "I will cherish all of these friendships forever. Thank you all for listening, my classmates for creating memories I will never forget, and everyone for making the past four years the best four years of my life."
Albert Fiorenza called his speech "Lessons Learned."
"What we take from this place as a whole will be what truly defines us," he said. "We all had those certain classes and certain people who made coming to school seem like a drag every day. But in reality we all enjoyed school for the friends we made and the people we grew to love, and that is what 13 years at FFCS has done for us."
Tylar Zielinski, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, received a standing ovation as he was wheeled across the stage by members of the Duanesburg Volunteer Ambulance Corps to receive his diploma.
As the high school band was playing the recessional, high school Principal David Halloran called people back into the auditorium. He had inadvertently skipped the presentation of the senior class gift, so he asked class President Heather Bowles to return to the podium.
The gift, which amounts to a little more than $1,000, has been put into an account to enable students to take "college in the high school" advanced placement courses. The program was a casualty of the budget process for the coming year, and the seniors wanted other students to have the opportunity to take college-level courses.