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Farewell to the Class of 2024

The 35 graduates of the Class of 2024 at Pine Valley Jr./Sr. High School gathered Sunday afternoon (June 30, 2024) for the district’s 76th annual commencement ceremony.

The seniors strode into the auditorium as “Pomp & Circumstance” was performed by student musicians led by Samara Weaver. Superintendent Shanda DuClon welcomed the crowd of proud parents, guardians and loved ones.

“Graduation is not just about looking back, it’s about looking forward with hope and optimism,” said DuClon. ”Whether you’re going off to college, entering the workforce or embarking  on a different path altogether remember the roots you’ve planted here that will serve as your foundation.”  

Class president Muriel Zollinger, who is heading to Mercyhurst University to study art therapy, then addressed the crowd.

“As I think about the people I am sharing the stage with today, I am so incredibly proud of the people we have grown to be,” said Zollinger. “There’s not a single person on stage that I haven’t learned something from.”

Principal Kourtney Almeida introduced salutatorian Aidan Moskaluk, a Career & Technical Education student via the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES’ LoGuidice Center in Fredonia, who plans to major in electrical maintenance at Alfred State College.

 “We have all made it this far and from the growth I’ve seen from you, I have no doubt you’ll have no problem achieving your dreams and aspirations,” said Moskaluk, who noted he enrolled at PVCS as a sophomore. “Our seniors are blessed with smarts, athleticism, strong work ethics and a strive for success that is unbreakable.”

Valedictorian William Jones, who plans to study computer science at Erie Community College, then advised students in upcoming classes to get involved at school.

“It’s good to be involved in things to have a sense of purpose,” he said before thanking his  parents, family and friends. “Congratulations to the Class of 2024.”

Selected seniors then gathered with fellow chorus members on stage for an emotional performance of “The Call” accompanied by Mary Kay Himes, passing the microphone among themselves as they took turns singing the lyrics.

Superintendent DuClon then welcomed guest speaker Nick Langworthy, a member of the Class of 1999 and current United States congressman.

“You have this small, tight-knit community --  it is part of you for the rest of your lives,” said Langworthy. “And I need you to cherish that and understand that this community will always be here for you and this is home.”

The presentation of awards was led by Director of Special Education and Curriculum Carrie Davenport before the diplomas were handed out by Superintendent DuClon, Principal Almeida, and Jeffrey Chase, president of the Board of Education.

Following the graduates’ traditional turning of the tassels, the audience was invited to join in singing the alma mater. The Class of 2024 then strode out of the auditorium and out to the front of the school for  a group cap toss followed by photo opportunities with loved ones.


Cap toss