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For Holley BOE, graduation is a family affair

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 June 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Sal DeLuca and his son Seth are all smiles on the graduation stage.

Kellie Spychalski hands her son Daniel his diploma.

HOLLEY – For 103 of the 108 Holley graduates in today’s commencement, John Heise handed them their diplomas when they walked across the stage.

Heise is the Board of Education president. He happily stepped aside five times today so other board members could present diplomas to their graduating family members.

Four members of the board handed their diplomas to sons, while Norm Knight presented the high school diploma to his granddaughter.

“It’s a very good perk,” said Sal DeLuca, a BOE member who presented the diploma to his son Seth. Last year DeLuca handed the diploma to his second son Zach. DeLuca’s oldest son Josh graduated before Sal was on the board.

“It’s a great thing,” DeLuca said about the honorary role at graduation.

Anne Winkley surprises her son Nicholas by presenting him with his diploma.

Kellie Spychalski presented her son Daniel with his diploma, while Anne Winkley handed the diploma to her son Nicholas. Robin Silvis presented the diploma to her son Michael, who also is the class president.

Winkley is completing her first year on the board. She said the opportunity to present her son with his diploma was something she relished.

“It was a big surprise to him,” Winkley said.

Norm Knight was summoned to the stage to present the diploma to his granddaughter Starlyt Knight.

Michael Silvis gave his mother a big hug in front of the crowd of about 1,000 people.

“It was really special to have my mom hand me my diploma,” he said.

The BOE did something new in today’s graduation. The board normally sits with the faculty. But this graduation it formed a receiving line and shook the graduates’ hands after they walked off stage.

DeLuca said the BOE is particularly close with this class because several members are parents of graduates.

“We’ve really got to know these kids,” DeLuca said.

Norm Knight gives his granddaughter Starlyt her diploma and a kiss on the cheek.

Robin Silvis and her Michael walk off the stage together during graduation today.