Family theme at forefront of F-F graduation

FONDA – In their last moments as high school students, the 118 young men and women of the 2014 graduating class of Fonda-Fultonville High School were reminded to never forget where they come from and to never stop trying.

Young women in ball gowns lighted the way to the stage for the graduates as they walked through the auditorium for the last time as high school students.

Parents, family, friends and teachers all cheered as the class took their final steps to adulthood on Saturday afternoon. The theme of family ran through many of the speeches made that day, reminding students of the help they received from those around them.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our families, our teachers and our friends for all of their support. After all, our parents are still right by our sides,” honor student Jeananna Warner said. “But instead of taking pictures of us as we board the bus, they are taking pictures of us with our diplomas.”

Honor student Monica Derby told her fellow graduates to keep learning from everyone around them, and to try and learn from every experience they have in life.

“Just because our high school education is coming to an end, it doesn’t mean we’re finished learning. We have only just begun,” Derby said.

Honor student Gianna Mancini reminded her classmates even the greatest inventors, writers and businessmen have failed from time to time. She told them to always keep trying.

“If we can learn to never give up and dare to fail, there is nothing outside of our reach,” Mancini said.

New York State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, echoed Mancini by advising graduates to always take risks, and not to be held back by a fear of failure.

Many students will be getting a helping hand along the way, with students from the district receiving more than $100,000 in scholarships, which were announced during the ceremony.

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, told students that the day was all about them, since they made it happen. He also challenged them to follow in the footsteps of the nation’s founding parents and help make their country better.

“Go out and make us more perfect,” Tonko said.

Superintendent Raymond Colucciello told students sometimes values such as working hard and believing in themselves the best way to proceed.

“Keep the old fashioned values that’s what will make you successful,” Colucciello said.

Honor student Carly Littlejohn told her fellow seniors to remember the teachers who taught them, family and friends who guided them and from here out, the path they choose is up to them.

“The rest it yet unwritten, so make it unforgettable,” Littlejohn said.