The 2012 graduating class at John Watkins Academy chose Bon Jovi’s “Welcome to Wherever You Are” as their anthem for the annual graduation and awards night on June 21 – the fortieth anniversary of such ceremonies at the school.
According to principal Jonathan Skinner, “At the song’s core is the idea that wherever we are in our lives, that is where we are supposed to be. It means our actions, our efforts, our dedication to our goals, our persistence in pursuit of our dreams is what defines us and determines who we become.”
For the four graduates and their families it was an evening of celebration, an evening of congratulations and handshakes, of numerous photos and smiles. For the other students – grades seven to level two – it was a time for diplomas, scholarships, and other awards and a time to aspire to that moment in time when high school was completed.
After the grand march, the formalities began: the toast to parents, the cutting of the cake, the valedictory speech, a slide show of the four graduates, and a toast to teachers. This was followed by an address from Principal Skinner who reviewed the academic and extra-curricular events of the past school year and spoke about their anthem. “It is a good song,” Mr. Skinner said, “one of many anthems I hope you will champion throughout your life.”
Mr. Hubert Langdon, Nova Central School Board trustee, brought greetings and congratulations from the school board, and then diplomas, scholarships, athletic awards were presented.
The event concluded with a dance with parents, and by midnight the students left, excited but perhaps with a little regret as they were leaving the comfort of high school to venture into the world beyond.