Ceremony beats the weather by minutes
The graduation ceremony for the class of 2009 had a little bit of everything with an original song by Hannah Poucher, plenty of laughs and lots of awards as well as the expected speeches from the principal, superintendent and Board of Education president.
Some of the speeches had the odd flubbed line, and in the crowd of graduates a few pairs of silly sunglasses could be seen as well as a camouflage collar and even the occasional tear.
One thing the first class to have an outside graduation since 2000 did not have was rain – at least not until minutes after the ceremony had ended and knots of well wishers gathered around graduates taking pictures, presenting flowers and giving many, many hugs of congratulations.
Although the post-graduation downpour quickly cleared off the high school’s front lawn, the ceremony had gone off without a hitch, even a few minutes early.
Valedictorian Skyla Seamans thanked her classmates for their support in her address.
“I would like to take the time to personally congratulate the class of 2009 for reaching this milestone. Your constant hard work and determination truly did pay off. I also can’t express how grateful I am to have had the support of my fellow classmates throughout the past four years of high school. Each and every day, I was encouraged to give my studies my all to reach this point. My class stood behind me every step of the way, and without my peers, I know I wouldn’t be standing before you tonight. I owe them so much but all I have to give is a sincere thank you and my promise to make them proud,” Seamans said.
While speeches were made, amateur meteorologists throughout the crowd craned their necks, checking out the skies.
Although a drop or two of rain fell and each breeze seemed to bring a greater threat of rain, and several times it looked as if the ceremony might conclude under soggy circumstances, the rain held off.
Prior to the ceremony seniors waited in the darkened gymnasium where the traditional slideshow played back memories from the class of 2009’s days at Granville High School.
Seniors milled about as they waited for the call to line up. After the final decision had been made, school officials decided to speed up the ceremony as much as possible, leaving teachers behind the scenes in the hallway frenetically trying to get 122 students into the correct seating order. All of the hard work paid off as the ceremony went off without a hitch.
Salutatorian Taylor Thomas, recognized previously for her perfect attendance, quipped, “Being up here makes those nights of endless homework and sleep deprivation almost seem worth it. … just kidding.”
Looking back, she said some of the class’ success could be attributed to luck, “although, like in every other aspect of life, luck can only take us an inch, while giving it all we’ve got will truly take us a mile.”
Poucher said afterward she had surprised the class by playing the song, keeping the performance a secret so she could back out if the nerves got to be too bad. She played the original composition on a 12-string guitar as she sang.
Board of Education President Kathy Nelson injected her patented sense of humor into the ceremony while urging graduates to continue to strive for the success Granville High School has prepared them for.
In his final address to Granville graduates, outgoing Superintendent Dan Teplesky urged them to “engage yourself in society.” Teplesky said Winston Churchill once gave a graduating class a five-word send off, “Never, never, never give up,” he quoted. Ending with his own five-word send off, he was joined by many in the crowd in reciting the famous phrase from the early morning snow day phone calls, “Have a great Granville day,” he said.