Congratulations to Carmel High School Graduates

Carmel High School’s 331 graduates enjoyed music, speeches and memories of their years together as they said goodbye Thursday to the Carmel Central School District.

“We began classes on Zoom and disguised ourselves under masks for some years,” Salutatorian Jennie Belle Aliaga said. “Further, we recall color day. The day most deserving of a bright blue sky was tainted by a deep orange hue. Thanks, Canada.  All this to say these misfortunes ended up making our high school years a little more unique and memorable.” 

Her advice to the class: “Don’t wait. The best time for action will always be now.”   

Valedictorian Luke Walters used his speech to share the glory and highlight the accomplishments of others in the class of 2024. He encouraged all his fellow graduates to aim high.  

“If we leave here today and we give it 100%, our chances of success, be it professional, economic or even spiritual, will soar,” Luke said. “If we find great mentors along the way, they will teach us and they will help us to take risks that put us in the best position for success and, if the fates allow us to be at the right place at the right time, perhaps some of us will someday change the world.” 

Senior Class President Ava Flores took a novel approach.  

“I realized that we all only have one chance at life, one unique story to tell,” Ava said. “I decided I was going to live my life by doing everything for the plot. When I do something for the plot, it means I do it solely for the sake of developing my narrative, refusing to confine myself to a single story line. I chose not to follow the path laid out for me, but instead I ventured anywhere there was an opening. I started stepping out of my comfort zone and saying yes to experiences that I might typically shy away from.” 

Of course, the adults on the stage also shared praise, admiration and advice with the graduates.  

Before handing out the diplomas, Interim Superintendent of Schools Joseph McGrath reminded them that life is like a series of waves.  

“Congratulations to the Class of 2024,” he said. “Embrace the waves, cherish the crests, learn from the troughs. Your journey has just begun, and the horizon is wide open.”