OSWEGO, NY â€“ One of Trinity Catholic Schoolâ€™s smallest sixth grade classes graduated Tuesday night during a commencement celebration and mass at St. Joseph’s Church.
The ceremony marked a stop along one part of the 12 students’ journey, but was also the starting point to the next part of their journey â€“ middle schools in Oswego and other parts of the county.
Though the students were sad to be leaving their friends and the teachers they have come to know over the past several years they are also excited about the opportunities that lie before them in middle school.
For some it was the last time they would see each other as classmates.
They will do well because they have been more than adequately prepared at Trinity Catholic to continue their educational careers, according to Principal David Friedlander.
Friedlander praised the students. They had demonstrated poise, discipline and strength, he said.
They achieved a great deal at Trinity Catholic and for that, they should be proud, he said. The bonds of friendship they formed at the school will be with them for the rest of their lives, he noted.
“I am confident you will all become successful adults and make an important impact in tomorrow’s world,” he said. “Trinity Catholic will always be a home for you. Make the most of every opportunity.”
The principal spoke of the bittersweet feelings he was having over saying goodbye to the students, some of whom he had known since they were in kindergarten, others for a shorter time. Their time at Trinity not only gave them a good education, but also strong spiritual strength and high moral values, he added.
“Never forget how much your parents love you and the personal sacrifices that they’ve made for you,” he said. “Never forget, you will always be a part of Trinity Catholic School. And Trinity Catholic School will always be a part of you.”
He offered some words of wisdom for their futures. There was a chicken farmer who once had a strange looking chicken, but it acted like the other chickens, he said.
Thatâ€™s no chicken, thatâ€™s an eagle, someone told the farmer. The man asked for the â€˜chickenâ€™ and the farmer gave it to him.
The man took the bird to the mountain and turned it toward the sunrise. â€œEagle, fly,â€ he told it.
The strange looking chicken spread its wings and soared and soared and soared, Friedlander told the graduates.
â€œYou become what you believe you can be. So, if you ever dream of becoming an eagle, follow your dreams and not the words of a chicken,â€ he said.
The 2010 graduating class included: Ana Alcasid, Isaac Annal, Matthew Bornheimer, Clare Donovan, Alexander Flack, Hannah Gorman, Gabriella Lanza, Roman Danilo Madlangbayan, Jenna Magsino, Liam Moran, Morhâ€™ese Oben and Anton Porcari.
â€œWe did it. We are finally here,â€ Donovan told her classmate during the graduation address. â€œWe had our fair share of problems and our fair share of good times.â€
Oben recalled special memories about the class members.
Several members of the class received citizenship awards, outstanding academic achievement awards and other citations.
Sixth grade teacher Rebecca Flack helped Friedlander present the diplomas and awards.
Special awards were presented including:
The Triple C Award, recognizing character, courage and commitment, was given to Flack and Alcasid.
Presidential Education Award, which is awarded to students who have an overall average for two years of 90 – 100% and have scored a three or four on the New York State Test in English Language Arts and Math, was presented to: Alcasid, Donovan, Lanza, Magsino, Annal, Flack, Danilo Madlangbayan, Moran, and Porcari.
Alcasid and Gorman were recognized with an art achievement award.
Cited for citizenship were Donovan, Bornheimer, Lanza and Porcari.
The comptrollerâ€™s award for academic excellence and leadership was presented to Oben.
The Home and School Service Award was given to: Moran
The Conway memorial award for service to the school, church and community went to Magsino.
The Alice Tuso Memorial Award, for Christian Character, was presented to Donovan and Bornheimer.
A special TCS award for dedication and support of the bingo program was given to the Annal family.
Friedlander told his students, â€œYou will always have a place in my heart, and in the hearts of the faculty and staff at Trinity Catholic.”
Trinity Catholic is the only Catholic school in the county and serves students from all of the county parishes.