by Kathy Moses
Gouverneur High School held its annual graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2016 last Friday evening at the full grandstands on the fairgrounds in perfect weather.
The 118 graduates were each honored with a diploma presented by Board of Education President Barry Smith.
The processional featured the graduated walking down between flags of the school’s colors blue and gold and was accompanied by the Gouverneur High School full orchestra under the direction of Victor Correa III playing “Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar and arranged by Merle J. Isaac.
The Chamber Singers, under the direction of Richard Haynes, performed the “Star Spangled Banner” arranged by Henry W. Davis. Senior Class President Cassandra Foster led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The class speakers, elected by the Honors Groups, gave their remarks. They were Frederic Nentwick, Sarah Geer, and Noah Forsythe.
Superintendent Lauren French expressed her gratitude to all who have supported the graduates, the school, and the community. She especially thanked the parents as she remembered the support she received from her own parents. She said several of the parents of the graduates were her own students at one time.
Superintendent French told the story of a family who collected returnable cans and bottles and raised enough money to take a trip. She reminded the graduates viewing a glass as half empty or half full can result in different outcomes. She honored retiring board members Barry Smith and Laurie Roberts for their nine years of service to the district.
President Smith recognized the family members of graduates currently serving overseas in the armed forces. He told the graduates new and change can equal opportunity.
High School Principal Cory Wood thanked many groups and individuals for their contributions to the success of the Class of 2016, including district employees, family, and friends. He said 77 members of this class earned 426 college credit hours while still in high school, a 300 percent increase over 2015.
Mr. Wood said 43 graduates will attend a two year college, 34 will attend a four year college, one will attend a technical school, 21 are seeking full-time employment, and six have enlisted in the United States Armed Forces with one in the Air Force, two in the Army, two in the Army Reserves, and one in the Coast Guard Reserves.
Mr. Wood announced 86 percent, or 101 graduates, earned a New York State Regents diploma with 32 graduated earning Advanced Regents, and 10 earning Advanced Regents with Honors.
Class of 2016 advisors Mary Dixon and Michelle Benda led the presentation of awards. Earning Senior Academic Achievement for making the honor roll every marking period for the past four years were Catherine Andrews, Arden Ball, Gabriella Dunkelberg, Noah Forsythe, Sarah Geer, Kayla Gladle, Nicholle Gotham, Cody Hartle, Katelyn Kennedy, Maddison McIntosh, Chelsea Miller, Daniel Mullin, Brooke Shattuck, Ryan Shippee, Cade Stevens, Daniel Sweet, and Mary Kate Wainwright.
The Southwest Tech Vocational Awards were Most Improved Student to Robyn Carr and Brionna Walton and Outstanding Student to Catherine Andrews, Cody Bishop, Taylor Ellis, Shannon Knowlton, Cody Orr, and Jackson Sheen.
Gouverneur School-Related Personnel Scholarships of $300 from the district’s non-instruction union were presented to Catherine Andrews, Kathleen Erdman, and Jackson Sheen.
The Elizabeth Kirchner Gleason Scholarship of $500 was presented to Samantha Dooley. This award is given to a graduate planning to major in art from retired Gouverneur art teacher Elizabeth Gleason in memory of Lillian Tood and Diana Lynde, deceased Gouverneur art teachers.
The Mariano Pistolesi Memorial Wrestling Scholarship of $500 given in his memory by his family was presented to Daniel Mullin by Bridgette LaPierre. Mr. Pistolesi was a member of Gouverneur’s first wrestling team in 1934. This award is based upon dedication, inspiration, and perseverance in the face of adversity.
The Kiwanis Club Scholarship of $500 was presented to Ryan Shippee by Charity Zawatski. This award is given based upon a letter of personal reference, community service, and academic achievement.
The Key Club Scholarship of $500 was presented to Katelyn Kennedy by Charity Zawatski. This scholarship, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Gouverneur, is given to a graduating Key Club member who has shown exemplary leadership in carrying out the club’s agenda.
The Faye S. Hopper Scholarships of $500 each were presented to Tyler Bowman and Nicholle Gotham. This award honors Mrs. Hopper’s commitment to musical excellence while serving the Gouverneur United Methodist Church for 62 years as organist and is given to seniors who have demonstrated musical excellence and shared the gift of music with the school and community.
The Roger O. Favro Memorial Scholarship of $500 was awarded to Frederic Nentwick. This award is given in memory of Mr. Favro who served his country in the United States Army, held the office of Canton Town Justice, and was a highly respected social studies teacher at Gouverneur for thirty years. The award is given to a graduate who best exemplifies ethical character, responsibility, community service, and a sincere appreciation of social studies.
The William E. Appleby, Jr., Humanities Award of $500 was presented to Sarah Geer. This award is given in Mr. Appleby’s memory by his family. He was a gifted teacher, writer, and accomplished musician. He taught English at Gouverneur for over 25 years providing leadership and inspiration to young adults. This award is given to a graduate pursuing post-secondary education in English, music, or the arts.
The New York State Academic Excellence Awards of $500 per year, based upon specific Regents exam scores, were presented to Noah Forsythe, Arden Ball, and Nicholle Gotham. Sarah Geer was awarded $1,500 per year.
The Roy G. Gibbs Scholarship of $2,500 was presented to Tyler Bowman by Kari Schermerhorn representing the Gouverneur Agricultural Board. This award, provided by the Gouverneur Agricultural Board, honors a graduate for youth leadership. Mr. Gibbs was a Gouverneur agriculture teacher from 1923-1954 well known for his dedication to teaching and young adults.
The graduates were Christopher Aldridge, Kasey Aldridge, Catherine Andrews, Devin Ashley, Arden Ball, Joshua Bennett, Lane Besaw, Abby Bice, Thomas Bigelow, Kirrah Bink, Cody Bishop, Tyler Bowman, Erica Briggs, Blade Briscoe, Shelbie Brothers, Hunter Burns, Joey Bush, Robyn Carr, Drewanna Charter, Breanna Clement, Chad Curcio, Abbigale Currier, Kylie Currier, Samantha Cushman, Frances Daly, Alex Deon, Samantha Dooley, Michaela Douglas, Malory Drake, Gabriella Dunkelberg, Mark Dunkelberg, Cheyenne Earlywine, Nazzarena Easton, Taylor Ellis, Nicole Embry, Kathleen Erdman, Dalton Fayette, Braden Fenlong, Cody Finnerty, Aimee Firth, Noah Forsythe, Zachary Forsythe, Cassandra Foster, Jared Fuller, Ty Fuller, Sarah Geer, Dylan Gibson, Kayla Gladle, Ronnie Goodelle, Megan Gore, Nicholle Gotham, Belisena Hall, Calaeb Hance, Dillon Hart, Cody Hartle, Rachelle Hight, Matthew Hills, Amy Horton, Tiffany Janack, Cayla Jenne, Aleksandr Karabats, Katelyn Kennedy, Shannon Knowlton, Matthew Kopchinski, Virginia Labarge, Jesse Love, Michael Mandigo, Michaela Mann, Hannah Martin, Devin Matice, Jordon McCloud, James McIntosh, Maddison McIntosh, Mychal McIntyre, Chelsea Miller, Cassidy Morrison, Daniel Mullin, Frederic Nentwick, Cody Orr, Theresa Otto, Tristan Pataky, Kirsten Phillips, Amber Reardon, Spencer Ritchie, Cailey Roberts, Delaney Roddy, Erika Rotundo, Nikolaus Schiszler, Maria Shampine, Brooke Shattuck, Jackson Sheen, Ryan Shippee, Justin Simione, Margeaux Simmons, Benjamin Sitts, Tyler Small, Kelsey Smith, Joel Spellicy, Aaron Stevens, Cade Stevens, Marissa Storie, Brandon Streeter, Daniel Sweet, Dean Tarus, Sarah Toppin, Alexis Utter, Johnathan Vanderbogart, Mary Kate Wainwright, Gloria Walker, Danielle Walrath, Kimberly Walrath, Brionna Walton, Ciera Ward, Shandan Way, Brooklyn Wilson, Tyler Woods, and Isaiah Young.
The members of the National Honor Society are Arden Ball, Tyler Bowman, Gabriella Dunkelberg, Cassandra Foster, Sarah Geer, Kayla Gladle, Nicholle Gotham, Belisena Hall, Katelynn Kennedy, Jordon McCloud, Frederic Nentwick, Brooke Shattuck, Ryan Shippee, Cade Stevens, Daniel Sweet, and Mary Kate Wainwright. They are recognized for scholarship, character, service, and leadership.
The members of the National Technical Honor Society are Kasey Aldridge, Catherine Andrews, Devin Ashley, Abby Bice, Cody Bishop, Breanna Clement, Abbigale Currier, Nazzarena Easton, Taylor Ellis, Kathleen Erdman, Dalton Fayette, Shannon Knowlton, James McIntosh, Chelsea Miller, Daniel Mullin, Brooke Shattuck, Jackson Sheen, Marissa Storie, Brandon Streeter, Johnathan Vanderbogart, Kimberly Walrath, Ciera Ward, and Brooklyn Wilson. They are recognized for personal conduct, scholastic achievement, and educational excellence in a vocational setting.
The Tri-M National Music Honor Society members are Tyler Bowman, Gabriella Dunkelberg, Sarah Geer, Nicholle Gotham, Cody Hartle, and Mary Kate Wainwright. They are recognized for music, academics, leadership, service, and character.
The Honors Group members are Arden Ball, Thomas Bigelow, Tyler Bowman, Frances Daly, Gabriella Dunkelberg, Noah Forsythe, Cassandra Foster, Sarah Geer, Kayla Gladle, Nicholle Gotham, Belisena Hall, Cody Hartle, Katelyn Kennedy, Maddison McIntosh, Daniel Mullin, Frederic Nentwick, Cailey Roberts, Brooke Shattuck, Ryan Shippee, Cade Stevens, Brandon Streeter, Daniel Sweet, and Mary Kate Wainwright. They are recognized for an academic average of 90 or above for their high school careers.
The National Future Farmers of America delegates were Tyler Bowman, Megan Gore, Rachelle Hight, Chelsea Miller, and Alexis Utter. They were recognized for leadership, personal growth, and developing leadership abilities through officer positions and/or attending state and national conventions.
Following the presentation of diplomas Chamber Singers performed the Alma Mater. The recessional, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and arranged by Michael S. Sweeney, was performed by the full orchestra. A reception followed hosted by the senior parent group.
by Kathy Moses