Hats Off to the Class of 2014

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The Class of 2014 took their final steps onto the Elwood-John H. Glenn football field on Friday, June 27 at the district’s 52nd commencement exercises. As a class of achievers, all students walked in with their heads held high to enormous applause and praise by parents, family and peers. The ceremony was laced with special performances by the high school band, concert choir and mixed chorus.

In his congratulatory address to the students, Superintendent of Schools Peter Scordo referenced advice from Steve Jobs and Mother Theresa, both about the need for loving what you do and letting nothing get in your way. “My simple wish to you is as you move onward with your lives, you’ll find something you love doing,” Mr. Scordo said. “Give it the best you have at all times and success will resonate within each of you throughout your lifetime.”

Board of Education President Joseph Fusaro also offered words of wisdom to the graduates. “I encourage you to do three things,” he said. “First, pursue your passion and be true to yourself and your heart. The second thing I encourage you to do is to work hard. The last thing is to remember your roots – you have many people and resources back here in Elwood who can give you help and guidance along the way.”

Class of 2014 salutatorian Harlan Grossman then had an opportunity to address his peers, first thanking the wonderful teaching staff at the high school. “Let’s take what we’ve learned and put it to good use,” Harlan said. “We must not squander this opportunity in life. I urge this class to take the gift of life and do something with it.”

Jasper Ainsworth, class valedictorian, offered witty remarks, drawing laughter from the crowd on several occasions. “Over the past four years, we’ve grown significantly as individuals, friends and human beings,” he said. “We have experienced so much during our time in Elwood…Everything we’ve gone through has brought us closer together as friends and a unified class. I truly believe that the friends, teachers and memories that we have here have made us the people we are today.”

Following the presentation of class gifts, the members of the Class of 2014 were called to the podium to receive their diplomas, to the cheer of their families and friends. After the final diploma was presented, students were instructed to move their tassels to the opposite sides of their caps. Once officially announced as graduates, these young adults celebrated by tossing their caps into the air. Following the recessional march, graduates reunited with their loved ones as official alumni of the Elwood Union Free School District.