NORTHVILLE - Student speeches included a lighthearted message featuring Dr. Seuss and one about helping to "save the world" at the the Northville High School graduation ceremony Friday.
A total of 33 graduating seniors in the class of 2014 participated in the 119th annual commencement.
"While I was writing this speech, suggestions online told me to use verbose language in order to sound more intelligent," valedictorian Veronica Arceri told her classmates. "I believe the exact opposite. What is said simply is best understood. Brevity is the soul of wit. And no one puts lessons into simpler words than Dr. Seuss. Sure, he made up some of those words along the way, but that is his first lesson; do not limit yourself. Think outside of the box."
Northville High School senior Mary Elizabeth Ryan performs a solo at the graduation ceremony Friday night in front of the school.
The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich
Northville High School class of 2014 Valedictorian Veronica Arceri speaks at the ceremony.
The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich
She went on to say, "Dr. Seuss taught us some of our first lessons. Northville and Edinburg are where we first learned about ourselves. These lessons and experiences will be the clearest we ever learn, and cannot be forgotten. We will use what we have learned here for the rest of our lives. This community has, and will continue to have, a huge impact on us, no matter how far away we travel."
Salutatorian Bailey Ovitt reminded the class it is among the last groups of people who have seen two different millennia: one old and one new.
"But for the first time in our lives, we control how this century and this millennium will be remembered," he stated. "Our actions have far-reaching repercussions, much as a ripple can cause a tsunami. Fellow students, our successes, our failures, they all change the world. Never doubt that you have an effect on the larger picture; every action taken results in a small change, and every change can bring forth revolution."
Ovitt went on to tell his fellow classmates that "although we may not want it, it is our responsibility to build upon the past, as those before us have done. Although we may not recognize it, it is our responsibility to help save this world."
The mistress of ceremonies was Sarah E. Dickey, student council president.
Receiving a standing ovation from the crowd was senior Mary Ryan, who performed a solo on guitar, weaving many of the students into her song.
Debra Lynker, superintendent of the Northville Central School District, thanked the parents of the graduating seniors.
"I'd like to say congrats, Mom and Dad, you did it," she said. "You did a fine job raising them."
Lynker said the road ahead will be paved with many difficult choices.
The guest speaker was school counselor Karen Izzo. She told the graduates they will always be connected to their home area.
"Although tonight may be the last time that you are together as a group, you are always interconnected," Izzo said.
"Underneath your seat is a piece of your educational puzzle," she said. "Please reach down now and pull out this piece of your past. Take it with you. This is a connection and a reminder that you have the strength to move forward."
The ceremony ended with the presentation of awards by secondary school Principal Mariah Kramer, and the presentation of class pictures and gifts, and diplomas.