Into every life a little rain must fall and fortunately for Granville’s Class of 2011, all of that rain fell outside while the soon-to-be alumni stayed cool and dry in the high school gymnasium.
Although Friday’s 125th graduation ceremony was forced inside by rain nothing could dampen the spirit of the graduates who sang, clapped and even shed a few tears during their final moments as high school students.
Rain fell and threatened enough to send the ceremony indoors and those gathering outside of the ceremony just before graduation started as big drops fell on the courtyard forcing graduates and family members inside. Despite the packed gymnasium the atmosphere the recently installed air conditioning helped to keep everyone comfortable, helping to make the evening relaxed as well as enjoyable for all.
Superintendent Mark Bessen emphasized the graduates would always have a support system here in Granville. Bessen recalled his favorite president Teddy Roosevelt and the obstacles he overcame to become the man that he was known to be challenging the graduates to ‘dare greatly.’
“Set goals and never give up,” he said.
Bessen and other speakers emphasized how close this class was perhaps represented no better than the single unoccupied chair set up stage left.
The chair, with a diploma, rose and chocolate lollypop was set up to recognize a member of the Class of 2011 who did not reach graduation: Brian Tressler, who passed away following a long, heroic battle against cancer.
Bob Tressler and his oldest son Robert attended the ceremony where the first award in Brian’s name was presented.
Fitting for the 125th time a graduating class walked across the stage for Granville, several grad received their diplomas from family members including Lauren Nelson who received her diploma from her grandmother board of education president Kathy Nelson. Nelson said she was particularly proud as a mother of three and grandmother to 12 to be presenting her first graduating granddaughter with a diploma.
Other graduates receiving diplomas from family members included Codi Scribner from his father Eric, who also presented to his nephew Mike Resetar; board member Pam Tatko received a giant hug in exchange for presenting her son Matthew with his diploma; board member Kevin Ely presented niece Kelsey Prevost with her diploma; Kelly Hoard presented her son Steven Sharp with his diploma and Dee Bergeron presented several diplomas to graduates Danielle Milanese, Mike Fiacco, Crystal Reed, Keliegh Waite and Allicen Waite.
Salutatorian Patrick Ryan finished up his remarks quoting the eminent sage Spongebob Squarepants. “He always says ‘I’m ready’ and I can no join him and say I’m ready,” Ryan said drawing a chuckle from the crowd.
Valedictorian Alyssa Martel echoed the superintendent just a bit when she encouraged her classmates to never “back down from you dreams.”