CANAJOHARIE - Many of the students in the class of 2013 at Canajoharie Central School were feeling a bittersweet sensation - a positive outlook for the future and nostalgia for the past - as they graduated Friday.
"For the past 13 years, you have come to school, worked with your teachers, completed projects and homework, taken tests and participated in extracurricular activities," Superintendent Deborah Grimshaw told the graduates. "Your teachers are so proud of you, and many of them are here this evening to celebrate with you."
With 65 students graduating from the school, the auditorium was packed with friends and family of the graduates for the 135th commencement.
Members of the Canajoharie Central School class of 2013 celebrate at the commencement ceremony Friday.
The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland
Donalee Bowerman, a special education teacher and parent of graduating student Zachary Bowerman, was shocked how quickly her son was graduating. His early years in school passed quickly, she said.
"You blink, and here it is," Bowerman said.
Donalee Bowerman said the class was close. She said being together since kindergarten unified them.
"It's amazing, it really is," Bowerman said.
Following the students marching in, members of the staff followed, with students and parents giving the staff a standing ovation as they passed through.
Graduate Keith Parrino was ecstatic.
"It's great," Parrino said, posing with family members and fellow graduates in photos.
Valedictorian Melissa Bowley talked about the road they have all taken.
"We have had quite the past couple of weeks, what with our last day of school, our prom and post prom, our senior trip, and awards night. And now to top it off, graduation is here," Bowley said.
Salutatorian Katherine Rockwell discussed the memories of the class and the things they will all remember.
"But most of all, we won't forget each other. Our senior trip reminded me of how much I love my class and how proud I am to be a part of it. Remember your friends, the tears you cried, and the moments you shared. To a class that cares, to a class that laughs, to a class that has heart - congratulations," Rockwell said.
Benjamin Kane, co-president of the class of 2013, remarked how good it is to be done with high school. He said he is looking forward to attending State University of New York at Oswego.
"I'm very excited," Kane said.
As the graduates moved their tassels, a flurry of silly string coated them as they cheered.