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Clymer says ‘goodbye’ to the Class Of 2015

July 2, 2015
Westfield Republican

By A.J. Rao

CLYMER-Amid cheers -and even a few tears-the students of Clymer Central School's Class of 2015 bid a fond farewell Thursday as they graced their alma mater one last time.

Article Photos

Photo by A.J. Rao
Pictured, from left, are Edward Bailey, Clymer principal; Megan Clark, valedictorian; Grace Dennis, salutatorian; Dr. Kristine Legters, guest speaker; and Bert Lictus, Clymer superintendent.

The 33 graduates, according to Edward Bailey, school principal, have been not only an amazingly ambitious group, but one with a wide variety of aspirations.

"The majority of them are going to college and we expect big things out of them," he said.

The graduates were no doubt feeling a mix of excitement and trepidation at their milestone event, as evidenced in the speeches of valedictorian Megan Clark and salutatorian Grace Dennis.

"Have blind faith that what I'm telling you is true," said Clark, with whimsy. "(Have) blind faith, kind of like what we graduates have right now. Faith that life goes on after high school. Faith that colleges will lead to our success and faith that jobs will provide for us and faith that yes, we've got this."

In a memorable moment, Clark remarked about her experiences in Clymer having uniquely shaped her as a person.

"The people we met, the friends we made, the classes we took, the teams we were on would all be different had we been anywhere else," she said. "All we are is our memories and I personally would not want to be anywhere else. Without Clymer, I wouldn't have had some of the best experiences of my life."

Dennis similarly described her faith in the future despite the tough questions that may arise.

"We're supposed to know, at the age of 18, what we want to be doing at the age of 50? That's insane," she said. "But that doesn't matter, because regardless of all that ... I have all the confidence in the world that each one of you will figure it out."

Dr. Kristine Legters, a professor of physical therapy at Gannon University and a 1977 alumni of Clymer Central School, was the guest speaker at the commencement.

Intertwining her life's work with valuable life lessons, Legters encouraged the graduating class to constantly challenge their brains in what she referred to as "positive plasticity."

"Your brain is what allows you and powers you to do what you do," she said. "Your brain has undergone 'positive plasticity' to get you here."

To foster that "positive plasticity," she urged the graduates to keep learning new things, adopt a culture of work and make good choices that create a positive environment and get you out of your comfort zone.

Legters said she was surprised and humbled to speak at the graduation.

More than 30 commencement awards and scholarships were awarded to the Class of 2015.

In her closing remarks, Dennis insisted that her fellow classmates need not worry about their future because they will eventually "figure it out."

"I believe in you guys," she said. "Go out there, and dare I say it, change the world."



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