Members of Tuckahoe High School's Class of 2011 did not keep the long stem red roses they carried in to their graduation ceremony. Instead, while a handful of their classmates performed the song "The Climb," students left their seats on stage and brought the roses to their parents seated in the audience.
Senior Class Advisor Marci Tiggs beamed as she spoke of the many accomplishments of the students, including collectively winning close to $2.5 million in college scholarships.
"I also want to thank (Principal Bart) Linehan for chuckling when the senior class wrapped your car in plastic wrap, saying it probably added value to it," she said.
Tiggs urged the students to "run screaming into your future."
Valedictorian Helena Honkaniemi broke down in tears as she saluted her classmates, teachers and family,
"You have made me what I am today," she said, "and I am honored to be here with you. This is our time.""
Outgoing Schools Superintendent Michael Yazurlo gave each of the students, who he refers to as "his kids," a big bear hug.
Yazurlo began his 13-year tenure with the Tuckahoe School District as the Class of 2011 began as kindergartners.
"I could not think of a better way to celebrate than with this group," he said. "When they were graduating from fifth grade, I made sure I got to the graduation so that I could tell them how special they are," he said. "I always knew they would do great things."
Yazurlo asked the students to look at the world for all of its possibilities.
"Mostly, though, I want to say I am so proud of you, I love you all and may God bless you and keep you,"
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