After a most unusual senior year, the Westlake Class of 2020 were able to enjoy a somewhat traditional graduation ceremony on their originally scheduled date of June 26. Earlier in the month, New York State issued an executive order that allowed graduations to take place for gatherings of 150 people or less. With a class size of 134, Westlake's graduating class fell within the guidelines.
Thanks to the efforts of many hardworking staff and administrators, led by Principal Keith Schenker, students were able to take part in the long-anticipated ceremony. While parents had to stay in their cars and watch the action live-streamed to giant screens, the students sat in chairs spaced six feet apart on the football field and enjoyed speeches from Mr. Schenker, Superintendent Dr. Kurtis Kotes, Board President Colleen Scaglione Neglia, class president Jacqueline Andrews, Salutatorian Katelyn Jaime and Valedictorian Caleb Levitt. Student Council president Kyra Earley introduced each speaker and senior Kiera Higham sang the national anthem.
Among the many inspirational messages given to the Class of 2020, Mr. Schenker told his students to always be true to who they are. He encouraged them to think deeply about their own perspectives, take time to become more self-aware and to follow their passions. Other speakers had equally reflective messages to which the graduates applauded enthusiastically.
After each student walked across the stage to collect their diploma, and Dr. Kotes officially pronounced them Westlake alumni, the students took out their phones to enjoy a video tribute created by Jason Ausiello and Matthew Mynes. It was a fitting end to the 13 years this group has spent together as students of the Mount Pleasant Central School District. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!!