Windsor Central High School said goodbye to its 121-member Class of 2020 on Friday with five graduation ceremonies at the school’s multi-sport stadium. Each ceremony featured a smaller number of students to allow for five guests each to comply with social-distancing regulations the New York State Department of Health set forth.
In speeches recorded before the ceremonies, valedictorian Eric Lin, salutatorian Samantha Sova, class president Angelo Sacco, and principal Jeff Salasny spoke to the graduates. The COVID-19 pandemic that upended this school year was not far from their minds.
“We’ve been taught since we can walk that when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. That’s exactly what the Town of Windsor has done for our graduating class, and a perfect example of what it means to be part of this amazing community,” said Sova. “Windsor High School is able to provide the kind of community within the classroom that I truly believe is unattainable at other institutions.”
“We have been stripped of our final moments together due to things far beyond our control. To sit about and whine about circumstance is irresponsible. Instead, we must find the strength to pick ourselves back up and carry onward,” said Sacco.
“You have proven what can be done and that we can change when unforeseen obstacles present themselves. At freshman orientation, I said this school will be different when you graduate. How true,” said Salasny.
Others gave the traditional sage advice that is a hallmark of commencements.
“We are constantly making a bunch of little decisions and we don’t know what will be waiting in front of us,” said Lin. “As we head down our own path, there will be times when sometimes we will feel tired or disinterested. But, I hope you ask yourself, ‘Why am I doing this? Why have I chosen this path? What will it be like at the destination? I hope the answers will provide some form of motivation. But, don’t stop. Don’t stall. To stop is to let others decide your fate.”
“It is only through our failures during our time in Windsor that we have been able to grow into the people we are today,” said Sacco. “We have all failed in one way or another, but, despite that, the teachers and administrators here have always encouraged us to move forward.”
“Go into our community and our greater society and positively effect change,” said Salasny.
The entire Class of 2020 gathered in its entirety once more before the series of five commencement ceremonies during a rehearsal Friday morning.
There will also be a “Parade for Graduates” Saturday, June 27th at 10 am. WCHS graduates will process down Main Street from the Alice Freeman Palmer Elementary / Middle School to WCHS. The Windsor community is invited to come out and show their support for our WCSD Class of 2020.