FISHKILL - The cicadas seem to be everywhere lately. In fact, last Saturday, they made their way into the Beacon High School Commencement - in a speech that is.
"You are like cicadas coming out of the ground," said Dr. Joannes Sieverding, Principal. "In the same way, they are coming out, you too, are coming out of Beacon High School."
That is where the similarities between the cicadas and the over 200 graduates (five of them war veterans) ended, according to Sieverding.
"I know you won’t wait 17 years," affirmed Sieverding to the students. "You will make a difference right away."
That potential was cited several times on the Dutchess Stadium grounds on Saturday morning amidst balmy temperatures. Whether it was in the classroom, on the athletic fields, or doing community service, the feats of the BHS Class of 2013 could be detected everywhere. One of the top academic achievers was Salutatorian, James McQuade. Speaking on several topics, McQuade zoned in on success.
"Success is a controversial topic; we all have different interpretations of it," said McQuade. "To me, it’s discovering the gifts you have to help better the world; we all have a success gene, and it’s up to all of us to find it." He added, "Any of my success genes, I see as blessings."
Also taking the podium to offer words was 2013 BHS Valedictorian, Jonathan Cruz.
"We all have the ability to make the world a better place; each action, no matter how small, has an effect," stated Cruz. "The Class of 2013: it is our duty to leave our mark on the world; as the great philosopher Confucius once said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Among those hoping to make that first step was Justin Santana. His grandmother made the trek all the way from Augusta, Georgia to see him get a diploma. His mother, too, was beaming with pride just before entering the Stadium.
"I’m very proud of him," said Arlene Santana. "Being the mom of a teenage boy is not always easy, but he tried really hard in school and ended up doing very well."
Identical twins, Maria M. Herrera and Maria G. Herrera, could also be found outside the Stadium awaiting their graduation milestone.
"We switched places a couple of times to see if the teachers would notice, and they didn’t," smiled Maria M., who with her sister is headed to Dutchess County Community College for the Honor’s program in the fall. "It’s been great having a twin in high school, because you have a best friend to go through good and bad times with."
Whether it’s on to college, the military or the work force, the BHS Class of 2013 will be united through the memories they created during their four year tenure.
"The future does not just happen to us; we create it," said Hena Kalola, Class President, as she addresses her classmates. "The bond we have created here at Beacon High School, will never be broken."