Graduation for the Class of 2021

Graduation for the Class of 2021

From hybrid to remote and masks to health screenings, it was only fitting the Silver Creek Class of 2021 adapted one last time to celebrate the end of a year like no other.

On Friday (June 25, 2021) Black Knight graduates and their families gathered on the high school football field for the 69th annual commencement ceremony. The evening’s festivities began with a traditional processional of the 65 graduates and the National Anthem performed by the Senior Chorus.


Prior to Silver Creek High School Principal Thomas Buczkowski’s address to the crowd, Stevie Cook recited the Ganö:nyök, a traditional Seneca Opening to a ceremony.

Considering how the 2019-20 school year ended and this year began, having everyone together to celebrate one of life’s milestones was appreciated by everyone in attendance.

“I believe there isn’t another class that could have handled this situation with better grace and dignity than we did,” said Joseph Bowers, Class of 2021 Treasurer and Valedictorian. “And dignity doesn’t come easy when all of your locker supplies get dropped off in a garbage bag on your porch!”

Levity aside, Bower reflected on the year that was and how he hopes his fellow classmates carry themselves as they move forward in life.

“Something I’ve found unbelievably fascinating is how quickly the pandemic has managed to somewhat dehumanize our interactions. How it has seemingly upset the balance of life.  We can accomplish most of our tasks with little social interaction – from Internet shopping to drive-throughs to Zoom and Teams meetings. This trend was already establishing itself, but the pandemic exponentially modified the curve,” he said, noting Albert Einstein once said it has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. “Can you imagine what he would say today? … There is a need for interaction, a need for kindness, a need for thoughtfulness, and a need for acceptance, and these should not be undervalued. Thankfully, I believe that we are better than that in our SCCS community and family. I believe we recognize the need for support and kindness. I believe we understand the value of relationships.”

Bower ended his message by challenging each of his classmates to continue to be ambassadors of positive change in the world and to lead by example and to foster kindness, thoughtfulness, and acceptance.

“The final line to Albert Einstein’s quote from earlier is ‘I hope that someday, our humanity might yet surpass our technology.’ And, as a future Engineer, I couldn’t agree more,” Bower said.

Graduation speakers also included Salutatorian Ellen Decker, who asked her classmates to live every moment and enjoy doing the things they love, and Louis Pagano. A ’77 graduate of SCCS, Pagano went on to earn his master’s degree in engineering management and work for Eastman Kodak in Rochester where he served for 16 years in the technical support department. For the past five years Pagano has worked as an executive vice president of Schulte Hospitality Group, which manages 170 hotels in the U.S. and Europe and 25 restaurants. 

“There are lots of measurements on how people leave their mark on life. What you will truly be measured on is not how much money you earned or how large your house is or how many toys you have amassed but rather the size of your heart. Did you make a difference in someone’s life?” Pagano said as he addressed the Class. “Were you a good person? Were you there when people needed you? Did you show compassion, did you lead or push through tough times? I am talking about you leaving the world a better place because of you.”

Following Mr. Pagano’s speech, Silver Creek Central School District Board of Education President Stephen Boothe presented diplomas to the graduates.

“The past 15 months have challenged my philosophy of never wishing time away,” Mr. Buczkowski said. “We wanted our lives to be normal but while we wished this to go away time was passing us by. Although we may never endure another pandemic there will be other challenges that lie ahead. Try to find the positive during those times, reflect and figure out how you can get out of it. You do have control over your path in life.”

Composite image of the Class of 2021

Class of 2021 at Silver Creek High

Ian Alcivar, Denise Bandelli, Alina Beadle, Shannon Bordenkircher, Joseph Bowers, ­­Samuel Braidich, Colton Breton, Michelle Bullard, Erica Carpenter, Katie Castiglia, Mikayla Clark, Myah Como, Stevie Cook, Alexandria Cornell, Ethan Cross, Alexiss Dawley, Ellen Decker, Jeffrey DeYoung, Joshua Dietzen, Jaivon Eggleston, Damien Evans, Sierra Farner, Kiara Farrell, Juliana Flick, Joseph Frost, Tane Galardo, Jillian Gamble, Autumn Gregory, Owen Hastings, Kassidy Herspold, Henry Hogg, Kaytlyn Killock, Morgan Lewis, Arianna Long-Hobbs, Austin Manning, Danaceus Maybee, Jalyn Meacham, Gabriel Metzger, Joseph Miller, Damian Molina-Ruiz, Ella Monaco, Shandon Monrroy, Yasler Montero, James Morrison, Ethan Morton, Kyle Mullen, Laci Ortolano, Matthew Palmer, Waylon Parker, Kali Parks-Ressler, Mariah Polowy, Hunter Prinzbach, Kylie Procknal, Gabriella Purdy, Emma Romanik, Carla Rosa, Gwynn Rosario, Adriana Rosati, Amanda Roth, Keith Seneca, Cynthia Schwab, Ian Szymanek, Ella VanRensselaer, Chelsea Voigt, Caleb Volk, Kody Wagner, Kianna Warrior, Bailey Watroba, Onyx Wolverton, Xyon Wolverton.  (70 graduates)