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Johnsburg graduation focuses on community

Johnsburg Central School seniors take part in their graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 22.

Johnsburg Central School seniors take part in their graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 22. Photo by Phillip Sherotov.

— “Be nice to people,” Ovitt said. “Whether, it’s making the most of any situation or in applying for a job, you get back what you give. I want to thank everyone here at Johnsburg for all the opportunities for success that were made available to me.”

Valedictorian Kayla Williford shared with the audience her experience of overcoming speech difficulties in school.

“While most students in fourth grade were reading fluently, I was still struggling with basic sounds,” said Williford. “It would take hours and years of hard work before I didn’t have to leave class to take a test.”

It was the combination of her own hard work and the support of her parents and teachers that helped overcome her difficulty.

“If someone had told my parents that a few years later, I would be standing up before my whole class and giving a speech as valedictorian, they wouldn’t have believed them, but here I am, doing just that,” she said.

Wall of Fame

Superintendent Michael Markwica told the audience that they were starting a new tradition this year. They would be celebrating past alumni for outstanding achievements. These alumni would be listed on a Wall of Fame and receive certificates of recognition. Each awardee would be asked to share a piece of advice with the graduating class. Below are the selected alumni for 2013:

•Daniel F. O’Keefe, MD. Class of 1938. His advice: “Family first, Faith, and Hard Work.”

•Gene Arsenault. Class of 1964. His advice: “Try to live your life and be kind, thoughtful, and considerate toward others. That’s really what’s important to me. There are always people of need that you can help.”

•Mary Jordan Nevins, M.D. Class of 1981. Her advice: “I make sure I laugh every day. I try to treat people with respect and compassion. I accept challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.”

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