414 to graduate from 5 school districts in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 June 2022 at 7:08 pm

Graduation ceremonies set for Friday and Saturday

Photo by Cheryl Wertman: Medina’s Class of 2021 and the Daisy Chain members assemble at their seats during last year’s ceremony. Medina is keeping graduation outdoors at Vets Park for the third straight year.

The five school districts in Orleans County will have 414 students graduate during commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday.

Some of the districts tried outdoor ceremonies during the Covid pandemic when crowd sizes were restricted.

Holley and Kendall are bringing their ceremonies back indoors to their auditoriums. Albion and Medina are staying outside instead of going indoors. Before 2020, Medina used to have graduation in the high school auditorium. Albion held its ceremony in the gym before going outdoors last year for the first time at the football field.

Lyndonville is staying in its auditorium. That district didn’t go outside the last two commencements. It did a virtual or videotaped graduation in 2020 with a parade of grads in vehicles. In 2021 the ceremony was back in the auditorium. Last year it was on the fourth Thursday in June. This time it’s back to the fourth Friday.

Here are some highlights of the ceremonies:

ALBION – The 7 p.m. ceremony on Friday includes 136 graduates at the Spierdowis Football Field. The students will be sitting on the field this time, instead of the bleachers like last year. This way the speakers can face the graduates when giving their remarks.

Last year there was a guest limit but this time there isn’t a limit.

Speeches will be given by Carson Bader as the class president and then as the class salutatorian, Leah Kania as valedictorian, Linda Weller as president of the Board of Education and Mickey Edwards, as the school district superintendent.

“We are incredibly proud of our 2022 graduates and look forward to spending a special evening celebrating their accomplishment,” said Jennifer Ashbery, the high school principal.

HOLLEY – The ceremony will be 10 a.m. on Saturday in the High School Auditorium. There are 60 graduates in the Class of 2022.

Speeches will be given by There will be speeches by Valedictorian Cora Bennage and Salutatorian Adriana Botello. Daniel Burke, a retired teacher, coach and musical director, was picked by the class to give the commencement address.

Following the ceremony, the graduates will process outside to the flagpole for the tossing of the caps. The scoreboard at the Hawk Stadium will be lit with the 2022 numbers all day and into the evening for pictures.

KENDALL – There will be a ceremony at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Kendall Junior/Senior High School Auditorium. There are 67 members of the class.

Valedictorian Riley Borkholder and Salutatorian Emma Allen will address their classmates. The keynote speech will be given by Christopher F. King, a command maintenance chief with the US Navy and a graduate from the Class of 2002.

Kendall school officials decided to return indoors after being outside in 2020 and 2021 for graduation.

“It’s such a gamble to be outside,” said Carol D’Agostino, the high school principal. “Last year it drizzled on us. The auditorium is air-conditioned. It’s predictable. People can be comfortable.”

LYNDONVILLE – Commencement will be 7 p.m. on Friday in the Stroyan Auditorium. There are 52 graduates.

The speakers include Salutatorian Maddox Stirk, Valedictorian Jack Whipple, Principal Dr. Aaron Slack and Superintendent Sharon Smith.

MEDINA – The ceremony will be at 7 p.m. on Friday at Vets Park. There are 99 graduates in the class. Each will receive tickets for up to seven guests.

The seniors voted on where to have the ceremony and they chose to be outside at Vets.

Speakers include Valedictorian Kaylee Lacey, Salutatorian Hayden Woodroe, and Megan Zakes, who graduating 4th in the class and also has completed her associate’s degree through Genesee Community College.