Clymer Central School Graduates 35 Seniors In 91st Commencement

Clymer Central School’s class of 2018 stands during their commencement ceremony Thursday evening. Many of the seniors received scholarships for their higher education and celebrated with their friends, family and peers. P-J photos by Eric Zavinski

CLYMER — Clymer Central School hosted its 91st set of commencement exercises Thursday evening to the applause of dozens of family and friends. Thirty-five graduating seniors sported their traditional red and gold caps and gowns and took to the stage.

The school’s student performance center was the sight of two speeches given by the brightest the pirates’ senior class had to offer, a presentation of scholarships and the awarding of diplomas.

Interim-superintendent Edward Bailey welcomed the students and their loved ones with words of wisdom. He suggested to the graduating seniors that they always remember to disconnect from modern technology and social media, behave as fine ladies and gentlemen, keep up to date with what’s going on in the world around them and learn new things every day.

Class salutatorian Jenna Kibbe delivered her speech called “The Little Things.” She began by summarizing many of the milestones of her life, which included her birth on Oct. 18, 2000, her first trip to school, learning how to file taxes in sixth grade, enjoying time spent with her track team and more.

She said that, while this was an effective summary in less than 30 seconds, the words she spoke left out all the details and characteristics that colored her life and made her who she was.

“When you look at life like my life summary, it’s not the same with all of the little things missing,” Kibbe said.

During reflection, Kibbe said she had grown to appreciate the little things. Sharing stories with her bus driver Norvel over the past 13 years and being encouraged by her track coach Mr. Shrout were among the smaller moments that left big impacts.

Kibbe then encouraged everyone in attendance to become parts of other people’s life journeys, even if just in small ways like greeting them or holding the door open for them.

“You might not realize it at the time, but those little actions can make a big difference in a person’s life,” Kibbe said.

Kibbe also took two volunteers from the audience to play a game that tested whether or not certain traits belonged to her and her friends when they were Kindergarteners or when they were seniors. It turned out that screaming Disney songs and shooting straw wrappers at friends branded them as seniors, and Kibbe mentioned those little things would be what she would remember most.

Valedictorian Nashia Duryee when giving her address focused on friendships she had made. She joked that she was mad at her friends and loved ones for pushing her so hard because she had to speak at commencement. She thanked her teachers for equipping her with the knowledge necessary to be prepared for the next chapter in her life.

Duryee shared inside jokes with her friends on stage and called out certain members of the graduating class who had an impact on her life. She mentioned some friendships grew through high school, middle school and even elementary school.

“A person once said ‘To live life without the experience of friendship is life without living,’ and I’ve never believed something to be more true,” Duryee said.

She asked the audience to imagine life without their best friends and realize how empty those lives would be. The theme of friendship being of utmost importance hit home when Duryee expressed her thanks and love to the audience at the end of her speech.

Approximately half of the graduating seniors received scholarship awards during the ceremony.