Mayfield grads say final farewell

MAYFIELD – In the warm summer morning Saturday, 68 graduating Mayfield Senior High School seniors assembled to say their final farewells to a high school they’d known for four years.

Valedictorian Maria VanNostrand summed it up during her speech, saying it was “moving day.”

“Today is moving day. Take care to pack your memories of high school. Take them and learn from them. Take it all to your next destination,” VanNostrand said.

VanNostrand said every one of the graduates have their own unique and individual talents, from musicians, to scholars, to even jugglers. She said their individuality should be expressed, and being true to oneself leads to the road to success.

“We don’t say Albert Einstein was just another scientist,” VanNostrand said by analogy.

“Remember, success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success,” she said.

VanNostrand will be attending Union College to study geology and chemistry, and will minor in music.

Salutatorian Mathias Krutz defined his classmates by their dreams, and cautioned them to not go outside their comfort zones to get things done.

“Who wants to play a game that can never be won?” Krutz said.

Holding up his smart phone, Mayor Jamie Ward played a recording made with an app to the class of 2014 congratulating them on their graduation. He reminded the graduating class the Capital District Business Review rated their high school as number one in Fulton County.

“You have all made us proud, so set your sights and never stop learning,” Ward said.

“When you are sad, confide in a friend and keep on moving,” he said.

Ward also mentioned a Steve Jobs quote, “Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

“Despite our economic climate, cuts in education, and increased mandates, we have continued to forge ahead,” Board of Education member Tush Nikollaj said.

According to Nikollaj, he wasn’t surprised by the students’ success.

“A great teacher inspires. As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Teach the children so that we won’t have to teach the adults,'” Nikollaj said.

Graduate Josh Ivancic said he was excited and optimistic about the future.

“It’s just exciting to start a new chapter,” he said.

Ivancic, who will be attending the State University of New York Institute of Technology to study mechanical engineering, said he couldn’t have made it through without his friends.

“Friends you can count on and teachers who believed in our abilities,” he said.

Graduate Ashley Feurstein said she had no concrete plans after graduation, saying she is examining her short-term and long-term goals.

“I’ve been in school for 15 years and art is the only thing that got me through. It’s like putting your feelings down on canvas,” she said.

Haleigh Dutcher, a graduating senior who plans on attending Wells College, said she was both nervous and excited as she went up to get her diploma.

Her mother, Georgia Dutcher, explained that it took a lot of work to be where her daughter is now.

“It’s been busy with a lot of late nights, completing senior projects and filling out college applications,” Dutcher said. “But there is a lot of dedicated staff that helped her along the way.”

“They have my wishes,” Board of Education President Ernie Clapper said. “But I don’t think they need them. I am sure they will make a positive impact on society. You haven’t heard the last from them.”