By DUSTEN RADER
Fulton County Express

NORTHVILLE — Proud parents and faculty gathered Friday at Northville Central School to celebrate the graduation of 27 seniors.
The 122nd annual commencement included speeches by the valedictorian, salutatorian, a faculty address, a welcome by the superintendent, presentation of awards and performances by the choir and band.
Superintendent Leslie Ford welcomed the students, faculty and attendees with a speech about the importance of having high aspirations.
“I really hope for all of you that you dream big,” Ford said. “By that I mean bigger and more far reaching than you’ve experience so far. … Dream the most impossible things about what your life could mean for you, your community and your generation.”
Valedictorian Jasmine Vrooman focused her speech on change and success, which she said her peers should embrace.
“Along with all of the wonderful lessons we have learned from our teachers, the last four years have been spend doing the invaluable,” Vrooman said. “We have made friends, made memories, and made it to class just before the bell — or in my case, just after. As we continue onward, our lives will begin to look drastically different.
“ … As we branch away from each other and begin on our individual paths, we will have one prevailing aspect in common: change,” she continued. “… Success is a result of constantly pursuing the lessons we learn in high school: how to work, how to learn, and how to grow. … As we look to the future, we look to the unknown. But even as we and the world around us changes, we can take with us the fundamental ideas of our education. Class of 2017, let’s go out into the world with a steadfast determination to achieve. Let’s do what we’ve been doing for the past twelve years: let’s work, let’s learn, let’s grow.”
Salutatorian Taylor Johnson’s speech embodied a message of appreciation for those who helped the graduates achieve academic success.
“ … We owe the greatest thank you to ourselves,” Johnson said. “While everyone’s help was vitally important to our success, we are the ones who had to put in the work and make it happen. Ultimately, we determined our own fate and success, and the same will apply to our futures … We are here tonight to celebrate our accomplishments, but do not let this be the end. Continue to strive for greatness and do many more things worth celebrating in life.”
Before presenting the awards, Principal Kyle H. McFarland joked that in all his years in administration he never had a class call him on his personal phone to ask permission to do a senior prank.
In addition to the presentation of awards, Brooke Schumaker and Michele Reidell took the stage to present the new Maryelizabeth Habla Memorial Award in honor a late teacher who passed away due to cancer. The award, presented to a senior who showed strong work ethic in math was given to Shelby Walton.
History teacher Joe Trimarchi was chosen by the Class of 2017 to give the faculty address. Trimarchi was asked to “make it personal,” which he did by sharing stories of memories of students and teachers.
“Like every generation in U.S. history, yours has a mission: Make your community, country, better than when you found it,” Trimarchi said. “Life will throw curves that will test your will — it’s your job to overcome them,” he continued. “Each of these personal tests will show you something about your will, courage and dedication. Pay attention and learn from these moments. … We slowly adapt to most situations, but we have learned from our history that change is the only constant and if we want to look to the future we have to create it.”