By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA — Oneonta High School celebrated its graduation Saturday, June 26.
The ceremony was held on the football field adjacent to the school, where, in a common theme among graduates this year, speakers talked about struggling through COVID and the extra challenges associated with the pandemic.
“No other generation has felt more trapped in our hometown than ours,” Aidan Mackey said, a graduate tasked with giving the greeting. “I call upon all of you to forge your own path and to tell your own story. … Our expectations were set so low this year that anything we got back was an amazing experience.”
In total, there were 121 graduating seniors in the class of 2021, many of whom won scholarships and awards.
In addition to congratulating the graduates, Superintendent Thomas Brindley thanked the parents and staff for enduring through COVID.
“In some way, shape or form, you’ve all participated in school this year, and for that I’m grateful,” Brindley said. “Despite the craziness of this school year, it seems that these four years have passed by really fast. This class was an incredibly special group. This is more true now than ever before.”
Valedictorian Maximillian Madej gave a speech that encouraged his fellow graduates to do better.
“I know nobody wants to keep hearing it but last year was challenging for all of us,” Madej said. “A few years ago, I was given the simple advice to do better. In some instances, I succeeded and in some instances, I failed. But I’ve always tried my best. By doing better, we’ll all be happier and more fulfilled. ”
“We, the class of 2021, have shown we are kind and hard working and ready to move on and take on the challenges of tomorrow,” Madej said.