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Sign over the windows of the WGHS athletic field press box told the story.
WGHS graduates 84 in four ceremonies
WATKINS GLEN, June 29, 2020 -- The Watkins Glen High School Class of 2020 graduated Sunday -- in four ceremonies held on the school athletic field.
The four ceremonies were necessitated by a state rule prohibiting participation at graduations of more than 150 people. By spreading out the graduation in four ceremonies, more family and friends of the 84 honorees were able to attend.
The ceremonies -- postponed from Saturday and then from Sunday morning by inclement weather -- were held at 1:00, 2:30, 4:00 and 5:30 p.m. in front of the grandstand, with spectator seating in socially distanced chairs on the adjacent football field.
Most of those in attendance -- including all of the graduates along with administrators and School Board members -- donned face masks. The graduates were permitted to lower or remove their masks when receiving their diplomas.
Each ceremony lasted 35 to 40 minutes, with remarks by High School Principal Kai D'Alleva and Superintendent Greg Kelahan. Valedictorian Collin Gaylord presented the lone speech, repeating it at each of the four events.
In his speech, he touched on the themes of Opportunity, Regret and Legacy, telling his classmates that as they enter the work-a-day world, "countless opportunities will be presented." They must choose whether to sit back or to become engaged and take "every chance you are given. Why not take it head-on? What do you have to lose?" If an effort fails, "it will be a lesson learned."
Regret, he said, is "one of the worst things you can experience" because it is something a person brings upon himself or herself through inaction. His classmates can instead choose to "push past adversity" with perseverance and grit, he said, shaping their own legacies. "It is our time to go out and make a difference," he concluded.
Photos in text:
Top: Graduate Ellie Clarkson, who received her diploma from her father, Kris, a member of the Watkins Glen School Board.
Bottom: Collin Gaylord delivers his Valedictory speech.
Left: Graduate Kelsey Kernan. Right: Haley Dean crosses the stage to receive her diploma.
Left: Olivia Stephany. Right: Scott Brubaker receives his diploma from his grandmother, School Board President Gloria Brubaker.
Left: Salutatorian Sarah Swinnerton receives her diploma from her uncle, School Board member Kris Clarkson. Right: Travis Hill.
Left: Graduate Elliott Holland receives his diploma. Right: Ali LaMoreaux.
Left: Josiah Wysocki. Right: Angelina Bravo celebrates after the ceremony.
Left: James Sager crosses the stage to receive his diploma. Right: Peighton Cervoni.
Left: Bethany Rutledge receives her diploma from School Board President Gloria Brubaker. Right: Graduate Enkang Lin.
Left: Graduate Madeline Parker. Right: Enqi Lin receives her diploma from School Board President Gloria Brubaker.
Left: Maggie Rhoads receives her diploma. Right: Adrienna Solomon.
Left: Graduate Makenzie Kellogg. Right: Isaac McIlroy receives his diploma from School Board President Gloria Brubaker.
Left: Superintendent Greg Kelahan. Right: High School Principal Kai D'Alleva, right, and Senior Class Advisor Sam Brubaker confer at the podium.
Left: Gabe Planty receives his diploma from School Board President Gloria Brubaker. Right: Graduate Miranda Rodriguez.
Peighton Cervoni, left, leads her classmates in moving their graduation cap tassels from the right side to the left, signifying graduation.
Watkins Glen 2020 graduates
Photos at right: From top, Zachary Burrows, Amber Updike and Sam Thorsland.
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