Graduates cite close bond at Madison ceremony
MADISON — The graduates of the Madison Central School Class of 2022’s tight-knit group of students got ready for a big step toward the future, all while remembering the connections they made along the way.
Valedictorian Anna McNamara said preparing for graduation brought her a new perspective, likening it to Forest Gump and how “Life is like a box of chocolates.”
“In each chapter of our lives, we have people and experiences that make up our ‘box of chocolates,” she said. “For me, this could be any and all of the students [currently graduating.] Everyone’s box is different, just as each of our lives is unique and special.”
McNamara said each graduate of the Class of 2022 brought their unique “flavor” to it.
“And while some of our ‘flavors’ don’t always mesh, we’ve learned throughout the years how they’ve shaped us into better people,” she said. “I’ve learned so much from this class — about myself and peers. Each senior has contributed to the class they might not realize.”
McNamara gifted the Class of 2022 a little box of chocolates of their own.
“Even though you may be closing this box, these chocolates will always be part of who you are,” she said.
Salutatorian Maria Peavey thanked her family for their support, the faculty and staff for putting up with the Class of 2022 for so long, the Madison community for their support, and the Class of 2022.
“You’ve taught me so much and left me with so many memories from my time at Madison,” she said. “You’ve helped build me into the person I am today.”
Peavey said her class has taught her so much and thanked them for it, going through a list of some students with key traits she felt would lead to a brighter future.
“Alex, the word I chose for you was determined,” she said. “It was one of the easier ones. Alex wrestled for the first time as a senior, and he had a lot of tough matches, including a couple against state-ranked wrestlers. But he always kept his head up and finished his season. Alex taught me always to give it your all, even if things get hard.”
“I can think of so many that can be described by fierce, but I chose Jayden,” Peavey continued. “Not like a savage animal, but passionate, honest, strong, and brave. As long as I’ve known Jayden, she’s always shown this trait. She’s always honest with you and will always speak her mind. She taught me to be successful, you need to be brave, strong, and fierce.”
“For Aiden, it’s talented,” she continued. “Whether on the sports field or behind the camera, Aiden always gives it his all, and it shows. He helped teach me that once you find your niche, don’t give up and keep working hard.”
As a parting gift, Peavey gave the Class of 2022 a keychain with a block that had a word from one of the lessons she learned from the class. Class President Jayden Miers thanked the Madison Central School staff for helping teach the Class of 2022 and being there for their emotional support.
“The Class of 2022 definitely made our time together interesting,” she said. “You’ve never met a group quite like the graduates. All of them are so amazing. They’re some of the most talented, funny, and outgoing people I’ve ever met. I’m never not blown away by what Maria can do with a canvas or the dedication Alex has for a 4 a.m. job or how Aiden can come to life behind a camera.”
“And growing up with them, I’ve seen who they’ve become,” Miers said. “And it makes me sad I won’t see you all every day these next few months as I’ve had. But I do not doubt that I will see beautiful things from all of you — even if it’s through a phone screen.”
“I hope you all get out of here, see and embrace everything that the world has to offer you, and create what you love — whatever that is,” she added. “I’m so lucky to have grown up with the loving group of people I did. I love you guys forever.”
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