Eight Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES students were recently recognized for their academic achievements during the Community Experience Program (CEP) Graduation ceremony.
District Superintendent Brian Hartwell provided opening statements during the ceremony in which he congratulated each graduate, calling their achievements an “inspiration to us all.”
“You are such an inspiration to all of us because you all keep moving forward. And your attitude and your willingness to continue to grow is second to none. Just keep that faith and that attitude that got you to this point,” Hartwell said.
Hartwell also congratulated each educator in the CEP program, noting that their efforts have created a culture of growth and achievement.
“We see these educators each and every day collaborate, share, reflect and care,” he said. “And that creates this energy that leads to an investment in our students, and an investment that ultimately leads to student success."
Director of Special Education Susan Lynch then spoke to each graduate directly, congratulating each by name. Lynch said each graduate has done an amazing job getting to this point, but also noted that it takes a “village” to aid each student.
“A heartfelt thank you to families, friends, and caretakers because it does take a village. Each one of you took the journey each day to help every one of these young men and women arrive at this very special moment,” Lynch said. “I would also like to acknowledge the staff that was there each day, too.”
Lynch also provided a special shout out to Support Specialist Jean Goetzmann, whom Lynch called the “heart and soul of this program.” Goetzmann is set to retire at the end of the school year.
“She has been with this program for 21 years, and she will be leaving us at the end of the year to start her new journey, just like the students will be starting their new journey,” Lynch said.
Each student was then called to the stage to receive their diplomas. To conclude the ceremony, Special Education Principal Danielle O’Brien congratulated each graduate and told the students to continue to break through any barriers they may face in the future.
“Though you’re leaving us today, I want you to remember that learning is a life-long adventure. Take the determination, the grit and the spirit that brought you to this point – and through a global pandemic – and apply it as you continue to break through any barriers you meet on your journey to leaving fulfilling lives of purpose.”