SOUTH DAYTON The students of Pine Valley High School were thrilled to be done with their high school days Sunday afternoon. They were rewarded for their hard work and achievements and all that awaited them was the official diploma.
Cathy Fabiatos, junior and senior high school principal, started off the graduation ceremony by telling the students she is proud of their accomplishments and the hard work they have done.
"Today is the day to begin your journey," Fabiatos said.
OBSERVER Photo by Jennifer Peters
Graduates of Pine Valley High School threw their caps in the air as they are official high school graduates Sunday.
High school is the start of the rest of their lives; all of the knowledge the graduates gained will be taken with them as they continue on their lives.
"Dreams can only be realized with determination and perseverance," Fabiatos continued.
Following Fabiatos, the salutatorian, Jacob Kohler, gave his graduating class more words of encouragement.
"Do what you love and be happy," Kohler stated. "Because without happiness, there is no life."
The chorus then joined together in singing 'No Day But Today' from the musical Rent.
The class valedictorian, Kaylee Mathews, not only thanked her parents for their love and support over the years, but also her class as well.
"You will not be able to decide everything that happens to you," Mathews explained, "but it's how you react to it that counts. If we put forth our best effort, we will be successful."
Graduation marks the last day of high school for the students of Pine Valley. While it may not seem like a big deal for some of the students, it is the day they can put those years behind them and start a new chapter in their lives.
Olivia Melinski, 2012 graduate, said she is excited to move on to greater things after high school as she will attend SUNY Fredonia for biology.
"I'm excited for the new atmosphere," Melinski said. "I did the campus program and was able to shadow someone in my field for a day."
Before the awards and diplomas were distributed to the eager students, Helen (Sweeney) Merrill, graduate of Pine Valley High School in 1955, shared with them her experiences as someone who has lived life past high school. Finding a job is one thing, but it is a another for them to have one that they enjoy and have a passion for.
"Find something you have a passion for and figure out how to do that for a living," Merrill stated.
The students were finally able to walk across that stage, get their diplomas, and turn their tassels to the left side as official high school graduates.
The 2012 graduates of Pine Valley High School were ready to make their way out in real world, taking their knowledge from their four years of high school to help them through life and all of the obstacles they will face.