Silver Creek graduates 68

SILVER CREEK – Members of the Silver Creek graduating Class of 2014 made their way up the stage one more time as a class Friday evening during the annual commencement. Family and friends stood as they watched their loved ones enter the auditorium, taking pictures and celebrating.

Once they received their diplomas, the class exited the school with smiles as they went outside to meet their family and friends.

Class President Jade Lewis was the first on the list of speakers to address the crowd and fellow classmates. Lewis told her class that after the ceremony and as years pass, they will inevitably grow apart. But she stressed to her class to never forget the cherished memories made throughout their time in school.

Superintendent Daniel Ljiljanich commended the class for their hard work throughout the school year, and not succumbing to senioritis. Instead, they maintained their leadership and involvement to the very end of the school year. He also thanked the crowd in attendance for the love and support they gave all the year through.

“I cannot thank you enough for the maturity, work ethic, school spirit and leadership that the Class of 2014 demonstrated this past school year,” Ljiljanich. “You have set high standards for the students of Silver Creek High School who follow in your footsteps. This outstanding leadership is what will set you apart for years to come. You were leaders in music and art programs, athletic teams, as club officers, and most importantly in the classroom.”

Ljiljanich noted that an analysis done on the class from its freshman to senior year improved its place in the Business First ranking. The high school improved 10 places, from 69 to 59. The district ranking has improved 22 places, from 76 to 54. He credited the jump to the students’ dedication in the classroom.

During Ljiljanich’s speech, he told the class to look around since it would be the last time they would be together in one place. High School Principal James Klubek told the crowd before his speech that he should have compared what he was going to say with Ljiljanich’s. Sure enough, Principal Klubek also made them turn around and look at each other during his speech.

“A lot of things that he already said, I’m going to say as well,” Klubek said. “But that’s OK, because it must mean that they’re really important to us. The young ladies and gentlemen that you see behind me have proven that integrity, trust and honor still exists.”

Klubek spent all four years with the class as the principal, and it will be his last at Silver Creek High School. He recently accepted the superintendent position at Gowanda Central School. Klubek ended by telling the class to never look back on life and think what could have been. He thanked the class and wished them all the best.

Salutatorian Carol Pelz told the class that they are all in the same position now as they are on the verge of a new journey. Pelz stated that, “Growing up isn’t easy.”

“I realize that aging and maturing are two very different concepts,” Pelz said. “Growing old is mandatory while growing up is optional. Being mature is going through life, and realizing what lessons are worth learning, what goals are worth fighting for, and when it’s time to let things go. Being mature is learning these lessons, and actually learning from them.”

Valedictorian Michael Miller, during his speech, acknowledged the special talents and abilities the class wields. Miller mentioned that even though he might be number one in the class with regard to grade point average, there are other people with special talents in his class.

“I’m far from being the number one student on this stage,” Miller said. “The great thing about the Class of 2014 is that there are so many people who have diverse talents. There are dancers, actors, and people who have donated hundreds of hours doing community service. Everyone on this stage has a talent.”

Commencement speaker and alumna of the class of 2005, Katherine Pelz, wasn’t going to quote a noble figure like Shakespeare or read a poem to give them advice. Instead, she used a quote from a friend in sending her message to the class: “If you don’t feel like an idiot sometimes, you’re doing it wrong.”

“It’s only by making mistakes, and feeling lost that you will find the life that you want for yourself,” Pelz said.

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