Trevor Junquera/For The Recorder Northville's Tim Monette, left, stands to accept his awards at Friday's Northville Central School District's graduation ceremony.
Trevor Junquera/For The Recorder Jacob Sitterly
Trevor Junquera/For The Recorder A speech from valedictorian Veronica Rose Arceri
Trevor Junquera/For The Recorder Secondary school Principal Mariah Kramer presenting Lacey Jacquard with her awards.
By CASEY CROUCHER
NORTHVILLE -- For Timothy Monette Jr., walking at Northville Central School District's 119th annual commencement ceremony was a monumental moment.
"It just feels so special to graduate with my class, on time," he said.
Monette was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma, a fast-growing form of cancer in November. He underwent heavy doses of chemotherapy throughout the year.
Monette's classmates, who attended NCS with him for nearly 14 years, were by his side for his battle every step of the way.
"I want to thank all of my classmates for being there with me, and helping me," he said. "I beat it, and they helped me so much."
Karen Izzo, NCS school counselor, was the guest speaker. She commended the 33 graduating students on their hard work and strength of character during the ceremony on the NCS front lawn.
"As their school counselor for six years, I had the pleasure to get to know each of the students through our office discussions, and I learned quickly just how unique and exceptional each of these students really are; they really care about one another," Izzo said.
"Some of you may not know how incredibly special this class is," she continued. "In my 11 years, I cannot recall a graduating class who collectively were as helpful and compassionate as the class of 2014."
"After one of there classmates was diagnosed with cancer, these students fundraised to assist in the family's medical expenses," Izzo continued. "In order to give him moral support, the entire soccer team and their coaches even went as far as to shave their heads following his first chemo treatment. He is graduating tonight, and is cancer free."
Class president Mary Ryan flawlessly sang a melody she wrote herself about all of her favorite memories from NCS.
She chronologically reviewed each grade she had with her classmates, and when she got to the last and final school year, she paused for a moment, and belted out "Tim beating cancer," to which everyone in attendance cheered and stood up, agreeing the memory was a favorite.
Ryan ended the song by reminding her peers that they've always got a friend at NCS, and they can take comfort in looking back at the memories they made with each other.
Aside from the everlasting friendships made within the NCS walls, salutatorian Bailey Ovitt told his classmates that the years they spent in school helped form a solid foundation of success for them to build upon.
"We are here to recognize that this foundation is not the end," Ovitt said. "Every person in this class has the choice to build upon what we already have, improve upon the past, and show the world that we are not limited to our stereotypical descriptions of apathy and sloth."
However, he reminded his classmates that overcoming adversity and becoming successful does not mean they are indestructible.
"We humans are an indomitable species," he continued. "We can be beaten, bruised, broken down to our foundation, but it is the human spirit that builds up from the rubble.
"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 a revolution."
Valedictorian Veronica Arceri told her peers that the experiences they had at NCS have shaped who they are today. She said the very first lessons and experiences they had at NCS will always be remembered.
"Northville and Edinburg are where we first learned about ourselves," Arceri said. "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."
The valedictorian said she was influenced by Dr. Seuss, and decided to end her speech in Seuss-inspired rhyme.
Throughout the poem, she thanked her parents, grandparents, teachers and advisors. She ended the poem thanking her community for shaping who she is today.
"Finally, I must fulfill this job I've been given, as valedictorian, I say good-bye to the community I've lived in," she said. "NCS on the Great Sacandaga Lake, the class of 2014 would just like to take this moment to thank you for all that you do in helping to make our dreams come true."
After all the speeches were made, awards were presented to the students and diplomas were handed out.
The graduates moved their tassels right to left, threw their caps up into the sky and walked through the crowd to Europe's "The Final Countdown" performed by the NCS middle and senior high school bands.
Trevor Junquera/For The Recorder Emil Onzo III
Trevor Junquera/For The Recorder Kalob Russell, Tyler Monacchio, Tessa Hadland and Randy King, present the Class of 2014 photo