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The Cornwall Consolidated School Class of 2022 tossed their graduation caps into the air, their last act of mutual solidarity as they moved on to high school. Photo by Janet Manko

19 students advance from Cornwall

CORNWALL — Master of Ceremonies at the Cornwall Consolidated School eighth grade graduation Simon Markow let it be known he relished his role, and hopes to continue it into his future, “as host of the Oscars one day.”

More than 150 attendees under a big tent behind the school on Tuesday evening, June 14, laughed and applauded for his vision of what was to come.

Three of his classmates spoke of their appreciation of what they had learned during their time at the school, and guest speaker Marina Matsudaira Muench, CCS class of 2012, shared a theme of kindness to others dominant among their remarks.

Their principal, Mary Kay Ravenola, spoke of the ups and downs of the 2021-22 school year, ending on a high note for the graduating class. “You persevered to be the best you can be every single day,” she said. “You made some great memories this year. You are our future, and we believe in you.”

Eighth grader Alexandra West spoke of seeing her class grow over the years, from just six students, up to 11, and finally up to its current 19. She also spoke of the major challenges the class met throughout the time of COVID restrictions. But, she said, that time helped her and her classmates to “learn how to deal with change: Accept it and enjoy it as much as you can.”

Guest speaker Muench also spoke of the transitory nature of being “cool” in school. “Trends come and go,” she said. “Go into high school not playing into the popularity game. Change what is cool in school: Be kind. Be respectful to teachers. Sit with the student who sits alone in the cafeteria. Kindness leaves a mark. Love and kindness can have an eternal impact. Being kind to people around you is so much cooler than anything else.”

The diplomas were then handed out to the 19 graduates as tributes from their teachers were read for each individual student.

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