By Cathy B. Koplen Contributing Writer
The Daily Star
---- — A tremendous milestone was reached by 137 young adults Saturday as they celebrated their graduation from high school.
Oneonta High School graduation ceremony began at 10:45 with a rousing orchestral suite of African music performed by OHS concert band. When the band began to play “Pomp and Circumstance,” the audience, which filled the school auditorium, stood to welcome the graduates.
“I am so excited for him,” said Kim Griswold, whose son Trevor Ambrose graduated Saturday. “This has been a tremendous year of growth for him. He is ready to spread his wings. I know he is ready.”
OHS graduating females, wearing white gowns, and males, wearing blue gowns, proceeded to the auditorium stage in measured steps.
Shelby Cleaveland, 2013 class president, welcomed the graduating class and their families.
“In 2007, when we incoming seventh-graders, there were so many new faces,” Cleaveland said. “We grew into a very involved class. Class of 2014, you have some big shoes to fill.”
Senior class vice-president Zachary King presented the Class of 2013 gift to the school, which in cooperation with the class of 2014, is a new scoreboard in memory of OHS graduate Jared Trotti, who died last year.
One by one, seniors who achieved various school awards were asked to stand to be recognized.
OHS principal Nancy Osborn announced the scholarships won by students.
“We have received $100,000 in awards from the community,” Osborn said. “I would like to thank the Oneonta community for all of their support.”
The valedictorian for the class of 2013, Amy Hait, addressed the student body with a humorous speech that bemoaned the lack of a lunch lady in the real world and poked fun at grammatical mistakes of former U.S. President George W. Bush.
Osborn presented the diplomas individually to the class of 2013.
“This class has been awesome,” Osborn said prior to the presentation of diplomas. “The one word I would use to describe this class is awesome.”
Osborn cautioned the students to be proactive when making decisions as they go out into the world.
“Take time to make important decisions,” Osborn said. “But don’t take so much time that time ends up making the decision for you. Don’t be trapped by dogma. Have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition.
“Time will make decisions if you let it. Take control. Life is short. Make the most of it.”
After the class of 2013 received their diplomas, OHS Concert Band played “Raiders March” as the new graduates left the auditorium.
After the ceremony, graduates and their families and friends gathered outside for pictures, fist bumps and well wishes.
“This is such a big deal,” said graduate Emily Armstrong after the ceremony. “I have felt like a kid all my life and now I am getting ready to go out on my own.”