Liberty Central School District graduated its Class of 2016 in a June 25 ceremony that looked back on the graduates’ 13-year journey and celebrated the days still to come.
The 119th Commencement drew a standing-room-only crowd to Liberty High School’s Robert Van Slyke Gymnasium and included speeches from Valediction Patrick Burke, Salutatorian Jenna Blank, Liberty High School Principal Jack Strassman, Superintendent Dr. William Silver, and Liberty Board of Education President Andrew Kavleski.
In a graduation ceremony filled with school pride, words of advice, and reflection, the members of the graduating class heard a larger theme — to stay humbled in this wild world and to tackle it with thought, rationale and kindness.
In his speech, Liberty High School Principal Jack Strassman described the need to keep perspective, stay grounded and to set S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals, as one can never know what challenges will be brought to light throughout life.
Superintendent Dr. Silver noted that although we often treat commencement as the end of a journey that is not what the word actually means.
“Commencement isn’t the celebration of ending. It’s the beginning of the next phase of your life,” he said, encouraging students to measure their success by the esteem of the graduating classes’ friends, family and community.