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OHS Seniors Graduate To The Rest Of Their Lives

OSWEGO, NY – At 10:50 a.m. Saturday, they were still Oswego High School seniors.

Just 25 minutes later, they were nearly 300 freshly-minted OHS alumni.

Corey King receives a special gift on his birthday, a diploma from OHS Principal Patricia Oughterson.
Corey King receives a special gift on his birthday, a diploma from OHS Principal Patricia Oughterson.

Graduation day 2010 was a day to reflect on the past 13 years, and more importantly, look toward the future.

“The events of an average day don’t stand out in our memory. But, something out of the ordinary may as well have a flashing neon sign in our minds,” Lindsay Johnson, OHS class of 2010 valedictorian, told her fellow graduates.

Their four years together in high school were filled with many such special memories, she added.

“It was a timeline of memorable classroom scenes, sporting events, practices, concerts, school musicals, rehearsals, clubs, field trips, assemblies, proms, homecomings and time with friends,” she said. “And though the words to Mr. Canale’s songs may get fuzzy and the many lessons that were sat through will be coated with fog, the classmates you were next to and the teachers that taught you more than they had to will remain clear. In 30 years, an average high school day will be much harder to recall; but the experiences we had may seem like yesterday.”

Jeremy Gosek, president of the class of 2010, urges his classmates to follow their hearts as they journey through life.
Jeremy Gosek, president of the class of 2010, urges his classmates to follow their hearts as they journey through life.

Members of the OHS class of 2010 faced their final school event with mixed emotions.

“Sure, I’m excited about this,” said graduate Jonathon Woodward. “It’s my last day for this (school). But it’s also kind of sad because I won’t be seeing everyone all the time like I used to.”

Jeremy Gosek, president of the class of 2010, will also miss the people he met during his high school career.

“I’m pretty sure I was aware that this day would eventually come. But this isn’t exactly quite how I imagined it, really,” he said. “It’s kind of weird. You build something up in your mind and then you finally get there and you are like, ‘whoa, this is it.’”

Katelyn Stevens gets some help getting ready from her sister, Kristy Kinney, prior to the start of graduation ceremonies at the Campus Center.
Katelyn Stevens gets some help getting ready from her sister, Kristy Kinney, prior to the start of graduation ceremonies at the Campus Center.

“I’m going to miss the people the most, the people that I’ve grown close to the last four years,” the class president continued. “The teachers, staff, my fellow students, I’ll miss them all. That’s probably the toughest part of graduating.”

For Corey King, it was a day of double celebrations.

“When I got the (school year) calendar, I noticed it first thing, graduation was scheduled right on my birthday,” he said.

He celebrated his birthday the previous day; graduation parties were on his calendar for after the ceremony.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Chamberlain, Valedictorian Lindsay Johnson, Salutatorian Sarah Skinner, OHS Executive Principal Patty Oughterson and Superintendent of Schools Bill Crist.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Chamberlain, Valedictorian Lindsay Johnson, Salutatorian Sarah Skinner, OHS Executive Principal Patty Oughterson and Superintendent of Schools Bill Crist.

He said he had mixed emotions about graduation.

“There are some things I’m kind of happy about. But, I’m a musician and I’ve been in the band for years. Leaving the high school band, really it’s going to be tough,” he said. “That’s where I spent a lot of my time.”

He will be marching with the Buccaneers in the Independence Celebration Parade on July 4 and later that evening he will perform with the Jazz Band prior to the fireworks display.

Jonathon Woodward smiles as he walks past his grandfather, Raymond Beckwith, on the way to his seat as the graduation ceremony gets under way.
Jonathon Woodward smiles as he walks past his grandfather, Raymond Beckwith, on the way to his seat as the graduation ceremony gets under way.

“I’m a soloist. That will be fun. It’s a nice way to finish up my time with the band,” he said. “It’s mostly the music thing that I’ll miss. There a lot of other stuff, too. There are a lot of good memories. But, music, that’s where I like to be.”

“Could you ever have possibly imagined what it feels like to finally be sitting in these chairs here today? I can honestly say that I am still in shock. I never thought it was possible for 13 years of my life to have gone by so fast,” said Sarah Skinner, OHS class of 2010 salutatorian. “I still remember getting ready for my kindergarten graduation. At my elementary school, good old St. Paul’s, we had a kindergarten circus for our ceremony, and I was unfortunately, a circus clown.”

Kimberlyn Bailey watches the flight of her after she tossed it in the air at the end of the ceremony.
Kimberlyn Bailey watches the flight of her after she tossed it in the air at the end of the ceremony.

Clearly, it’s a little bit different this time, and not just because I’m no longer dressed in a paper bag decorated with crayon and glitter, she laughed.

“Instead of moving to a new classroom, we’re going to be headed to an entirely new place: a new school, a new job, a new city, a new state,” she told her classmates. “Rather than lose a naptime, we’re gaining freedom, responsibility, and most importantly, we’re gaining our own choice.”

It may not hit them for some time still, Skinner said.

“But, after we pass through these doors today, our lives will have changed. Maybe not at first, as we still have our summer, but by late August, we’ll notice, when instead of buying a few new outfits and some notebooks, we’re purchasing our own textbooks and packing all of our belongings to move into a new dorm room,” she said.

Then will come the more difficult changes – when it comes time to say goodbye to people that they’ve known for years, or are the closest to, whether it be family or friends, boyfriends, girl friends, best friends.

Sarah Miller, this year’s Oswego High School student representative to the Oswego Board of Education, prepares to accept her diploma. In front of her is Kathryn Michaud while in back is Daniel Montagnola and Michelle Moon.
Sarah Miller, this year’s Oswego High School student representative to the Oswego Board of Education, prepares to accept her diploma. In front of her is Kathryn Michaud while in back is Daniel Montagnola and Michelle Moon.

“I’ve already started with some of the goodbyes at the end of the school year. It was hard enough to say goodbye to people that I only saw in my classes, or teachers that I’ve grown close to and who have helped me immensely over these last four years,” she continued. “But, I feel that we’re all ready for a change, some of us more so than others.”

Superintendent Bill Crist said he expected great things from the members of the class of 2010.

It’s time for them to move on with a new chapter of their lives, adding there are ready to face the challenges that await them.

Superintendent Bill Crist addresses the class of 2010 on graduation day.
Superintendent Bill Crist addresses the class of 2010 on graduation day.

“It is your turn to begin creating your own future and setting your own life goals,” he told the graduates. “The only thing that stands between you and what you want in life is the will to try.”

He told the graduates that, as they make their way in life, “Make yourself proud of who you are.”

School board president Sam Tripp echoed those sentiments.

“Success is measured in different ways,” he said.

To be a success in life, the students will have to take responsibility for themselves, he added.

A full house of friends and family pack SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center behind and around the OHS 2010 graduating class.
A full house of friends and family pack SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center behind and around the OHS 2010 graduating class.

“The bottom line is you will get out of life only what you personally put into it,” he said. “Strive to be the very best that you can be.”

High school might have been the best part of your life thus far, maybe it was the worst or somewhere in between, the salutatorian noted.

“But, we all knew that it would come to an end at some point,” she said. “Hopefully, you have made the best of it while it lasted.”

Three OHS seniors share a moment together before lining up for the 2010 graduation ceremony.
Three OHS seniors share a moment together before lining up for the 2010 graduation ceremony.

She told her classmates to put everything they have into anything they attempt.

“It will always be worth the effort in the end,” she said. “And sometimes, you’ll surprise yourself with the results.”

In his address to the class, Gosek advised them “to always follow your hearts.”

“High school was great for providing us with chances to participate in something. But, the next part of our lives will be the first part that truly becomes what we make of it,” Johnson said.

Kylie Wyman was the final member of the Oswego High School Class of 2010 to receive her diploma at the ceremony at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center on Saturday.
Kylie Wyman was the final member of the Oswego High School Class of 2010 to receive her diploma at the ceremony at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center on Saturday.

She urged her class not to become complacent. Go out into the world and do great things, she challenged.

“At face value, we are a bunch of kids that simply finished their high school education. But, but beyond that we are a group of talented and award winning students, athletes, musicians, artists, writers, dancers and individuals that have made the most of what we have encountered so far,” she said. “I’m sure the majority of us would like to believe that we haven’t just had the best four years of our lives; but, without action that is what they may become. There is a whole new world open to us. All of the opportunities in the world are useless if we just watch them come and go. I can’t stand here and advise you on something that I have yet to experience. All I can leave you with is: make it good!”

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