Class of 2019 Celebrates Graduation

Class of 2019 Celebrates Graduation

Perspective, advice and a trip down memory lane rounded out the 67th Annual Commencement Ceremony at Silver Creek Central School on Friday, June 28, 2019.

Seventy-four students donned cap and gown and celebrated the close of one chapter while trying to keep things in perspective.

“Sometimes we forget to step back. If we take a step back and look at the world as a whole, we can solve some of the issues we have today,” said Class of 2019 Salutatorian and RPI-bound Garrett Castle.

“One of the sayings to explain perspective is that you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I personally don’t like this expression because I wear a size 14-wide and I can’t really walk in someone else’s shoes. But, it is still, a great expression. Sometimes all it takes is a little change in perspective.”

Putting the ups and downs of high school and the cumulative journey to commencement into words is sometimes no easy task. For Silver Creek Central School District Valedictorian Kristen Wielgasz, she knew one thing was for certain: she wanted the opportunity to speak as class valedictorian the same way her own sister had six years prior.

“I’m 18 years old. I haven’t been able to experience life all that much yet, but I’m going to give the best advice I can: Never doubt your intelligence … stick to your dreams … and to thy own self be true,” Kristen said. “I wish all of my fellow graduates the best and I hope you all carry confidence with you in whatever you do. Congratulations, Class of 2019.”

Twenty-five years ago, Thomas Buckowski was sitting in the audience in cap and gown not knowing what was to come and unsure of where he would wind up in the future. On Friday, Buckowski returned to the same auditorium as the Silver Creek High School principal and as commencement speaker.

Left to ponder what he’d speak about, Buckowski reflected on his 31 years within the walls of Silver Creek Central School. A lot has changed over the course of his tenure. The Dewey Decimal System was all the rage in the library — home to one computer; kids never needed encouragement to get outside and play; Spam was a wholesome meal and not something you received in your inbox; and Tweets came in the form of pen and paper footballs.

“Certain things in life will never change and that is where my story starts. My view on life starts with my mother and father. To all the parents here, I’d like to congratulate you on your child’s accomplishment,” Buckowski said. “Mom and Dad, you did well. To the parents and guardians in the audience, you did well. But your job is not done. These young adults may need you more after high school than they did while they were making their way through our school. Students, that is your support system and they will be invaluable for you in your next phase of life.”

The auditorium, filled with families, friends and faculty, beamed from the faces of smiling students eager to begin the next chapter of their lives. Board of Education President Gregory Cole presented the Class of 2019 with their diplomas and Silver Creek Central School District Superintendent Todd Crandall closed the ceremony.

“I’d like to remind you of the greatness of this diploma and the greatness of education — in my mind, the key to opening a door. I believe it is the key to stop ignorance and hate, bigotry and to promote all of the good in the world,” Crandall said. “Go and make a difference and wherever you go always demonstrate and model Black Knight Pride. Go BKP!”