By Jasmine Willis
DANSVILLE — The Dansville High School 133rdAnnual Commencement brought forth the chance for new horizons, to look back at past memories, and the challenge of what waits for each graduate in the future.
The Dansville Mustangs Class of 2019 (126 graduates) had opening remarks from Rev. David Hotchkiss about the paths less traveled by and dancing in life’s miracles.
“What a privilege this is for me. It is very rare that I get the opportunity to be facing so many young adults. I am going to be talking to you about several things today, and within those things will be a little nugget of wisdom I want you to be looking for,” he said. “Henry Ford made the statement one time’ If you think you can, or you think you can’t … you are right’ First I want to talk to you about Robert Frost. He had to make quite a decision later on in his life. As he was out walking, he stopped to look at two roads, and both looked very inviting. He had to make a choice. How many choices have you young people made?”
“He had to make a choice, and he was quite certain he wouldn’t be coming back that way. He said ‘ there are two trails that converged in the wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference’ There was a Native American grandfather who tried to explain to his grandson how he felt after experiencing a terrible tragedy,” Hotchkiss continued. “He said there were two wolves fighting in his heart. One wolf is the aggressive mean one. The other wolf is calmer and more considerate. The grandson asked which wolf would win the battle in his grandpa’s heart. The grandfather answered’ the one that I feed.”
Dansville High Principal Thomas Frazier talked about how the graduates had spent their time at school putting pieces together like a puzzle.
“I think about the time you spent here like pieces put together in a puzzle. I think about the great memories you had in this school. Just over six years ago you all came here to this gym for orientation,” he said. “You all didn’t know where to go, or how you would do in class. You didn’t know how to fit in. All of these concerns may seem silly as you look back on them now. Now the things you are worrying about have higher stakes. You are moving on to things bigger and better than Dansville High School.”
Frazier continued, “The pieces you add to your puzzle will be able to help you in the future. As you add pieces to your puzzle remember that it is okay to fail sometimes. Remember we are all so proud of your accomplishments.”
Dansville Valedictorian Morgan Oldfield gave her speech on “Who We’ll Become” to her fellow graduates.
“As I look out upon my fellow classmates, I see not who I’ve known, but who we will become. The past five years and nine months have been a roller coaster. It provided us with memories that will last a lifetime. For months it was hard to think of a theme that could truly encompass everything we have experienced. Here it is in three words; indifference, indecision, and independence. We have grown so much as indifferent indecisive tweens to confident strong-willed independent leaders of the school with plans for our future,” she said. “Up until this very day 2019 was only a number. It was thought to be so far off we didn’t really care. We waited for time to pass by, and the seemingly endless cycle to continue. It is tough to be indifferent as we sit in alphabetical order in our cap and gowns in this hot gymnasium.”
Dansville Salutatorian Mora Mundt gave her speech on “Life’s What Happens” to her fellow graduates.
“Life is what happens in the busy things of something else. We all planned on taking our last Math and English tests, we all planned on sitting for our last band and chorus concerts, we all planned on seeing our final art displays, or playing that final game. We all planned on cleaning out our lockers and passing around our yearbooks. Although all these things are crucial to our high school year ending, they are not what made it so memorable. It is the things we didn’t plan on that shine in our memories,” she said. “It was those spontaneous unplanned moments that made us feel transformed. We didn’t plan on planting a tree in the front yard of the school or letting all those crickets go. We didn’t plan on the inside jokes that developed between friends, or to come together when we lost someone. We didn’t plan on watching our girls perform so well in basketball and soccer. We didn’t plan on building such strong and genuine relationships with our teachers.”
The Wall of Pride 2019 inductees are Jennifer Brushafer, Jane Schryver, C. Arthur Seymour, Paul Wamp, and Mike Welch.
The Dansville Mustang Class of 2019 Gift is a donation to the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center.
Dansville Superintendent Paul Alioto honored all of the students for their service to the school, community, and one another in 2019. He recognized the first responders, musicians, honor students, artists, and athletes.
“They (WOP) was once just like you. Service runs strong in Dansville. Service is the common theme among the Wall of Pride. Service is the Heart and Soul of the first responders of the Class of 2019,” he said. “It is because of all of you that this community came together to improve long overdue renovations in the auditorium and music room. You inspire the community to believe. You demonstrate courage in the best and the worst of times. You inspire us to demand more and to expect more.”
The Dansville High School Chamber Singers performed “High Hopes” by Panic! At the Disco.
The Dansville Mustangs Class of 2019: Abigail Adams, Madison Akers, Karam Ali, Shelby Baer, Tyler Baker, Marshall Barron, Sven Barth, John Bartholomew, Hannah Belanger, Derek Bell, Olivia Bevacqua, Christopher Billups Jr., Matthew Binnette, Joshua Blackmon, Jacquelyn, Blechinger, Garrett Blonsky, Brittany Bonner, James Boula, Jackson Breen, Tyler Brown, Julius Burchard, Brendan Caito, Hannah Carnevale, Heather Carswell, Delilah Chase, Patrick Clarke, Hannah Cole, Byrtnie Coleman, Emily Acomb Collins, Max Connor, Jacob Cotton, Jesse Cronk, Linette Cueto-Brito, Melina Cueto-Brito, Carter Davis, Meliea DeStefano, Sara Dinehart, Eric Dockstader, Christian Dokter, Rachel Drake, Thomas Earner, Stefen Entwistle, Kendra Evans, Katelin Everman, Morgan Everman, Jacob Failla, Dylan Folwell, Jade Freeman, Jacquelyn Fronk, Kendall Gallipeau, Kristin George, Leahana Gilbert, William Grant, Briegh Graves, Brandon Hall, Ethan Hart, Samura Hayward, Christopher Henchen, Owen Herkimer, Grace Hensler, Ken Hicks, Dominick Hilligus, Liberty Hoffman, Kevana Hooks, Conor Hoskins, Austin James, Reann Johnson, Mark Judd, Nathan Kelly, Alexandrea Kendall, Taren Kimbel, Wilbur Knapp, Brandon Kinsley, Bryce Kuhn, Ted Kurtz, Mark Lawrence, Desiree Little, Ryan Magee, Shaelyn Mark, Tyler Martin, Donovan McDowell, Carly McKinney, Lowell Mensinger, Cassidy Moore, Madison Moore, Jonathan Mosca, Donald Mosko, Brnadon Moulthroup, Mora Mundt, Morgan Oldfield, Alexis O’Neal, Morgan Oswald, Brantley Owen, Emily Pierpont, Amanda Prashaw, Kiara Presler, Dylan Race, Skyler Race, Elizabeth Rex, Jadyn Rittenhouse, Shannon Robinson, Ian Roelle, Caitlyn Saunders, Hannah Scheller, Trevor Shotwell, Jade Simons, Austin Simpson, Camden Simpson, Evan Sinsebox, Somer Sparks, Brody Stone, Zara Sullivan, Cassandra Suydam, Josephine Swyers, Holley Thomas, Timothy VanNostrand, Devin Vasquez, Madelyn Vegder, Andrew Vogler, Austin Weaver, Kyle Weiler, Rhianna Wentworth, Gwendolyn Werth, Christian Young, Jason Young, and Keasha Young.