As the graduates filed into the SUNY Cortland Park Alumni Center, the traditional commencement march “Pomp and Circumstance” filled the air. Parents, relatives, brothers and sisters looked on as the Class of 2019 took their seats. The ceremony opened with a welcome by Principal John Zarcone, followed by the Senior Class Officers leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the Cortland Alma Mater. Janet Griffin, School Board President, quoted Rascal Flatts and said, “I hope each road takes you where you want to go.”
Superintendent Hoose followed Janet Griffin and said, “with your diploma comes responsibility, you are charged with making your community and life better.” Superintendent Hoose also congratulated the 14 students that also graduated from TC3 with an Associates Degree. After Superintendent Hoose’s speech, John Zarcone started the special recognitions. Meredith Brafman was a big winner, as she took home four awards which included the Emily A. DeCamp Memorial Scholarship, Dr. Kimberly M. Dippo Memorial Scholarship, David E. Guido History Scholarship and the Dr. Arthur B. Shedd Education Scholarship.
Charles Canestero, Ed Porter and Thomas Herting presented the diplomas. Each student’s name was called as they crossed the stage. Many of the students gave John Zarcone a big hug. After the last student was called, Salutatorian Alexander Ryan told students to move their tassel, signifying the official graduation of the class of 2019.
After the ceremony, two students, Rhen Waldbauer and Lauren Swartz were able to speak with us to discuss their feelings about their time at Cortland High School and commencement.
Rhen Waldbauer, is attending the University of Buffalo in the fall. Rhen feels that humor is something that has helped her get through her years at CHS. “I had so many moments at CHS that I look back and laugh about. I am glad I got to go to a school that had such caring staff and allowed me to take different courses and try new things.”
Lauren Swartz, another member of the Class of 2019, is attending Saint John Fisher College in Rochester to study Chemistry and playing lacrosse and field hockey. She said, “I am ready to start the next chapter of my life. I know that I have worked hard throughout high school and will continue to work hard in college. I faced a knee injury and had to do physical therapy to be able to play sports my senior year of high school. I am thankful for the teachers and staff at CHS.”
We congratulate the Class of 2019 and wish them the best of luck in their future.