Caring group of 29 honored in Northville

Northville Central School Valedictorian John Bace speaks during commencement on Friday. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

NORTHVILLE — The Northville Central School Class of 2019 put their high school days behind them on Friday, but district staff said the school will be forever changed due to their spirit.

“I don’t know when I’ve seen another class like this, congratulations to all of you together, I’m very, very proud of you,” Northville Central School District Superintendent Leslie Ford said during the 124th Commencement Exercises on Friday. “I want to thank you personally for all you’ve done to make Northville Central School District a wonderful place to be. You will all be sorely missed and your impression here has made an effect.”

Salutatorian Brianna Bace echoed Ford’s words while acknowledging how lucky she felt to be a member of the graduating class of 29 students.

“I’ve known most of you since preschool,” Brianna Bace said. “I don’t think I could have had a better, smarter and more caring group of individuals to go through this journey with.”

Though the students must now go their separate ways on a yet unknown path, Brianna Bace expressed confidence in her fellow classmates given all that they have learned so far and encouraged each graduate to strike out to find their passion.

“Our next journey doesn’t come with a map and it certainly doesn’t come with a bell schedule,” Brianna Bace said. “I want us to take our abilities and passions and share them with the world. Whether that’s returning to Northville, or taking our Northville pride to a new town or city, I truly believe we can all impact the world.”

“But before you can do anything, your first step in doing so is finding your happiness and passion,” she continued. “Go out in the world and try new things, travel and figure out what makes you passionate, because only then will you be able to make a difference in the world.”

She was followed by her brother, Valedictorian John Bace who remarked at how quickly the years go by and reminded the graduating class to enjoy the time they have.

“It only seemed like yesterday I was picking my classes for my senior year,” John Bace said. “One lesson I have learned about time is that no matter how hard you try you can’t stop it. Not when you’re hanging out with your friends, hoping that this moment will last forever. Not even when it’s 11:50 and your assignment is due at midnight and you just need a little more time.”

“Enjoy yourselves you’ll be out of time before you know it.”

Before the students received their diplomas, middle school teacher Cheryl Miller recalled how they had infused the school with their energy during their time there.

“I first met the class of 2019 when they were sixth graders. They entered our middle school hallways with curiosity, enthusiasm and boundless energy. So much energy,” Miller said. “These three years were going to be ones for the books!”

“What they may not have known about though, is the impact that they had upon us as teachers. Their zest for learning was contagious. Their genuine kindness towards each other was inspiring,” she continued. “I for one truly looked forward to coming to work every day.”

Knowing how the students impacted her life during their middle school years, Miller encouraged the new graduates to continue on as they always have been, which she described as “incredible.”

“My advice to all of you is to continue to be the competent, kind, compassionate and driven people that you already are. Keep these strengths. Use them. Share them. Stay genuine always. Congratulations to the Northville Class of 2019, the world is very fortunate to have you,” Miller said.

By Paul Wager

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