June 27th, 2012
Beacon High School Graduation
The Beacon Class of 2012 awaits walking down on the Dutchess Stadium Field Saturday morning for its Commencement Exercise.
FISHKILL - Crystal De La Cruz lost her mother just over 15 months ago, but on Saturday night she felt every bit of her presence.
The 16-year-old Beacon High School graduate De La Cruz, whose mother passed away from breast cancer last March, had her mom in her thoughts just prior to stepping out on the Dutchess Stadium grounds to receive her diploma as part of the Beacon High School Class of 2012.
“My mom was a very spiritual and special person,” reflected De La Cruz. “I wouldn’t be here without her, and I am so thankful for all of her wisdom and faith.”
De La Cruz was one of over 200 Beacon High School students who graduated on a mostly sunny evening that managed to elude the threat of rain. Dr. Joannes Sieverding, Interim Principal, provided the Welcome, along with Opening Remarks. Referring to commencement as both a beginning and ending, Dr. Sieverding continued, “Commencement is a concept, a process that we go through until the last day of our life. If you can grasp that, you can make a big difference in this world.”
Citing the Beacon High School Class of 2012 as one that achieved in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the volunteer arena, including holding fundraisers for over 50 charities, Sieverding further noted the array of college acceptances amongst the graduates. That list included: Harvard, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, St. John’s University and New York University; in total 72 different colleges will welcome Beacon High School graduates in the fall.
Salutatorian Kyle Yanarella, who is headed to Lehigh University, kicked off the student speeches. Alluding to his Beacon school tenure as “bittersweet,” Yanarella spoke of the many special, deep-rooted friendships he has forged over the years. “I have made some great, great friends, many that go back to early elementary school,” recalled Yanarella. “I would rather spend time doing nothing with them than anything else with other people.”
Earning Valedictorian status was Aaron Perez. Thanking his own parents for much of his success, Perez then had the Beacon High School Class of 2012 stand in unison, while waving to their parents and thanking them for all that they have done.
Perez, the student with the highest grade point average at Beacon High School also offered some remarks on the culmination of the journey of his graduating class.
“We stand here today stronger, smarter and wiser,” pointed out Perez, who further spoke of the “shoulders of the giants” each graduate has been blessed with being able to stand upon. “I want you to reflect upon who the giants are in your life - friends, parents, teachers - who got you here and carry them with you when you get your diploma.”
In addition to inspirational words that filled the evening, the Beacon High School Chorus provided entertainment with its rendition of “I Believe.”
A video presentation, filled with Beacon High School senior memories and broadcasted on the Dutchess Stadium infield’s large screen was also a part of the 90 minute program.
The address of Perez, which also stressed getting out of one’s comfort zone, a desire for his class to dance, being in control of one’s destiny and following one’s dreams, wrapped up with yet another important message to his fellow classmates.
“Know that greatness is just beyond the horizon, so take risks and begin your life today,” urged Perez. “We are special, meant to achieve many things, and destined for greatness.”