FONDA - Graduates of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School Class of 2013 heard a speaker sing "Blue Suede Shoes" and expressed relief and optimism as they took part Saturday in the 60th annual commencement ceremony.
With 123 students graduating, the high school auditorium was packed with friends and family.
Sierra Park, a graduate, said she was excited.
An overview of the seniors on the stage during the Fonda-Fultonville commencement at the high school Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
"It's finally over; with all my hard work, it is finally over," Park said.
Park said she will be attending the Rochester Institute of Technology. She said many of her friends also are planning to go to college.
"Most of the students I am friends with are really excited [high school is] over," Park said.
Nathaniel Culick, another graduate, said his school years went by quickly.
"It's really weird," Culick said. "It is just amazing the time [went] so fast."
Culick said he will study at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
Whitney Martuscello, another graduate, said she was excited about graduating.
"It was so fun to be here. But you have to move on eventually," Martuscello said.
Principal David Halloran called out to the class before the graduates entered the auditorium. He cheered them on.
"You guys have been a really great, great group, and I have said it over and over, and I mean it over and over, it has been a privilege to be your principal. Let's go graduate," Halloran said to a cheer from the class.
Speaking to the crowd, honor student Darrell Getman offered a rendition of the song "Blue Suede Shoes."
"How did it go again? Well, it's one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go cat go," Getman sang, going through several verses of the song.
"Throughout these past years, I have learned many valuable lessons. Some of these, I have picked up through my own experiences," Getman said. "And others, I have learned from the experiences of close friends."
For example, Getman said, throwing bags of condiments at oncoming traffic generally is frowned upon by the law.
"At least, that's what my friends tell me," Getman joked.
Getman said it was important to face the world with faith.
He commented on the support he received from his parents.
"In these times, [my mother] encouraged me to steadily weather the storm and to always look upon tomorrow with a sense of hope and optimism," Getman said.
State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, spoke to the students, encouraging them to follow some of the advice in Dr. Seuss' book "Oh, the Places You'll Go."
"He's telling you to believe in yourself, to decide for yourself what you want in life and how best to achieve it," Tkaczyk said.