Geneseo graduates honored in parade and ceremony
Graduates in the Geneseo High School Class of 2021 were honored with a parade and commencement exercises on Sunday, May 23.
Their “big day” began with a 1 p.m. parade from the south end of town, passing by all three elementary schools, the middle school and St. Malachy’s, before concluding at the high school where the graduates gathered in the school gym before lining up for the processional to the football field for the final commencement ceremony.
There are 226 graduates in the GHS Class of 2021. Ninety-four of the graduates received summa cum laude honors for having cumulative grade point averages of 3:74 and above.
Twenty-nine students received magna cum laude honors for having cumulative grade point averages from 3.50 to 3.74, and 25 students in the Class of 2021 received cum laude honors for having cumulative grade point averages of 3.25 to 3.49.
After the welcome given by Geneseo High School Principal Travis Mackey, graduating seniors Ava Perrigo and Evelyn Wilson presented Class speeches. All graduates were invited to submit speeches to read at graduation and a committee selected two speeches to be read at commencement.
Perrigo traced the four years at GHS and said, “Throughout the entirety of my freshman year I got told ‘it goes by so fast, enjoy every bit of it’. I remember thinking, ‘yeah sure, I’m a freshman in high school now I know what I’m doing’. I did not know what I was doing….As cliché as it sounds, life is a big journey full of twists and turns and everyone is just trying to get to their end destination.”
She cited the losses the class has endured, and said, “We have also been given the opportunity to learn difficult lessons early. We are able to understand the advice, ‘it goes by so fast, enjoy every bit of it’ like no other.”
She encouraged her classmates to “cherish the sound of your best friend’s laugh, call your grandma for just five minutes, give your hugs a little tighter, acknowledge when you’re making a memory, enjoy every bit of it.”
“What I would do to go back to the winter of sophomore year when we were all snowed in and thought two weeks off of school was a long time,” Perrigo said. “1,370 days ago we walked into Geneseo High School, but we are not the same people walking out.”
Wilson began with, “I think we knew by the time August rolled around last year that we wouldn’t be experiencing the ‘High School Musical” version of our senior year that we all dreamed of. The fall went by with few social engagements, and we weren’t even seeing half of the student body. The days felt programmed and robotic, like everyone was scared to truly express themselves, or maybe it’s just that we had forgotten how to act after being quarantined from one another for so long.”
As the year progressed and restrictions were lifted, Wilson said, “I finally started to see everyone embrace their true colors and reveal the version of themselves that had beenhidden behind the mask, literally. Navigating this deceptive winding, unknown year, we were finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“We’ve definitely missed out on a lot of experiences that everyone looks forward to their senior year, but the truth is, our class battled this pandemic with our hearts set on engaging on a bigger, more fulfilling goal: enjoy the things life does give us and focus on all of the opportunities we do have. In retrospect, we not only learned, but we truly lived these truths by not taking what we have for granted and remaining thankful for the present moment.”
She concluded with, “Not only did we take the year for what it was and make the absolute best of it, but we also learned the true value of one another and how precious life is.”
Geneseo School Superintendent Dr. Adam Brumbaugh presented the Class of 2021 and diplomas were presented by members of the Geneseo Board of Education.