Medina grads will be going places

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos courtesy of Chris Busch – These Medina graduates pose for a photo at commencement on Friday. The trio includes, from left: Jacob Roeseler, Brian Bogan and Samuel Busch.

MEDINA – The 115 members of the Class of 2015 will begin the next stage of their lives with accomplishment.

Jeff Evoy, the district superintendent, noted that 63 percent of the class earned Regents diplomas with 29 percent at Advanced Regents (Honors).

“In the fall, our graduates will leave us with a strong foundation built here in Medina,” Evoy said at commencement on Friday.

Nearly two thirds or 65 percent of the class will attend either two- or four-year colleges, about 10 percent will be off to trade schools, 5 percent have joined the military and 20 percent will search for employment opportunities, Evoy said.

The superintendent highlighted five students who joined the military: Victoria Carter, Air Force Reserves; John Derting, Air Force; Nick Erway, Army; Brett Pecoraro, Marine Corps; and Jacob Covert, Marine Corps.

Students will be pursuing degrees ranging from neurosciences to cyber security. Evoy said Medina’s Class of 2015 is heading to Canisius College, Clarkson University, Pace University, Wells College, Houghton College, RIT, Nazareth College, Hamilton College, Kent State University, George Mason University, the University of Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Elmira College, Case Western Reserve, SUNY Oneonta, Rensealear Poly Technical Institute, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Oswego, Niagara University, Ithaca College, University of North Carolina, Hilbert College, Roberts Wesleyan College. A number of students will attend the following community colleges: Alfred State, NCCC, GCC, ECC, Sandy Hills CC, Canton and Bryant and Stratton.

The Class of 2015 includes 115 graduates, who received their diplomas on Friday at the Medina High School Auditorium.

In his message to graduates, Evoy focused on the importance of persistence and hard work.

“If you get knocked down you must rise again and come back twice as hard,” Evoy told graduates.

He shared the example of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, whose life was featured in the movie, Rudy. Ruettiger dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame. After high school, he worked for his father in a steel mill. Rudy was undersized and suffered from dyslexia. He decided to attend Holy Cross by Notre Dame to boost his grades. It took four tries before Notre Dame accepted him as a student.

With the help of dedicated teachers and tutors and his commitment to his school work, Rudy got the job done, Evoy said. Rudy played on Notre Dame’s scout team and appeared in a game, sacking the quarterback to end the contest.

“Think about how his life may have turned out had he not believed in himself,” Evoy said. “I can guarantee that you will have many struggles in life, but it is how you react to adversity that will determine success or failure. Work through these struggles and learn from them. The difference between success and failure, more often than not, is a little extra effort. When you face adversity battle it with tenacity and always believe in yourself.”

Medina juniors carry the 54-foot-long Daisy Chain into the auditorium for commencement. The Daisy Chain is a lot of hard work. It takes about two days to build it. It’s a Medina tradition going back about a century.

Earlier this month at the Top 10 dinner for the graduates from four Orleans County school districts, Aaron Knights addressed the group. Knights grew up on a farm in Medina. Today he is an attorney in Washington, D.C.

Knights discussed the importance of hard work with the Top 10 graduates.

“He told the audience that he knew coming from a farming family that he would never be outworked,” Evoy said. “He applied this hard work ethic to his chosen profession, law.”

Medina graduates are joining thousands in the region and millions around the country in accepting diplomas and starting a new phase of their lives.

“Nothing will be given to you and your work ethic may be the one thing that separates you from the crowd,” Evoy said. “Simply put, there is no substitute for hard work.”