Geneva graduates encouraged to be versatile

Jun. 3—HARPERSFIELD — Graduates turned around in their chairs to look at the crowd on Sunday afternoon as faculty speaker Rachel Blevins urged them to look at all the supporting people that helped them get to this point in their lives.

Many in the crowd waved to their relatives, seated with caps and gowns on the infield of the indoor track at SPIRE Academy, as Blevins shared her thoughts on the special nature of the class of 2024.

Blevins was chosen to speak by the graduating students. "I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride for each and every one of you," she said.

She said the class had to face quarantine, hybrid schedules and many other unique challenges. Blevins also urged the students to surround themselves with people who inspire them.

"Follow your heart and don't be scared to carve out your own place in the world. ... Geneva High School is a better place for you have been a part of it," she said.

Geneva High School Principal Michael King shared his feelings about the class. "I only had you for one year, but you are some of the most amazing people I have ever met," he said.

"Tomorrow there won't be a first bell or a last bell, but the day will go on," King said of the next steps in the graduates lives. He said the teachers that provided guidance will not be there as well.

"You will have the wisdom they have implanted," King said. He also urged the students not to get lost in selfie photos, but to appreciate the hugs and conversation of graduation.

Chloe Davidson and Mya Evangelista were the student speakers representing the class of 2024.

"Today marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another," Davidson said. She said it took 1,500 days, but she and her classmates made it to graduation.

"These are the memories we will share with our children and grandchildren," Davidson said.

She also urged her classmates not to be locked into decisions made as a high school student. "We are all allowed to alter and change our plans," Davidson said.

Evangelista said she turned down the opportunity to speak at graduation, but found out she could change her mind, and did.

She also urged her classmates to be flexible and willing to change a path if necessary. "We are a little unsure on the future, but I think we will get there," Evangelista said.

King also read the names of the top 10 students, in alphabetical order. They were Jordyn Alderman, Bruce Bixel, Hailey Booth, Caiden Collins, Grace Dubsky Mya Evangelista, Makenna Ferrante, Delaney Marrison, Owen Pfeifer and Brooke Richmond.