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By John Tucker

Bolivar-Richburg Central School Celebrates Twenty-Ninth Commencement

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Fifty-two graduate, Dick Richardson Class of 1969, makes the commencement speech

Bolivar-Richburg Central School proudly marked a significant milestone as they held their twenty-ninth commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 25. The event was held in the auditorium at the Jr./Sr. High School in Bolivar, where fifty-two students received their diplomas.

The commencement address was delivered by Dick Richardson, an esteemed member of the Bolivar Central School Class of 1969. Richardson’s achievements include holding two US patents and being honored as the Entrepreneur of the Year in the Business and Professional Services category by the American Business Association. As the founder of multiple corporate leadership companies and the author of the book “Apollo Leadership Lessons: Powerful Business Insights for Executives,” Richardson offered the graduates some words of wisdom. He urged them to strive for excellence, emphasizing the importance of a strong work ethic, and encouraged them to reflect upon their life’s circumstances, draw meaningful conclusions, and continuously strive for personal growth.

The ceremony also featured two exceptional students, Haley Mascho, valedictorian of the Class of 2023, and Noah Martin, salutatorian. Both students delivered honor speeches reflecting on their time at Bolivar-Richburg. Martin shared a powerful spoken word poem he had written, chronicling the lessons he learned throughout his academic and personal journey, including the struggles that shaped him into the individual he is today. Mascho reflected on the timeless question asked since kindergarten, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She encouraged her classmates to follow their own paths and create their own dreams, being confident in themselves and what they have learned throughout their years at Bolivar-Richburg.

During the ceremony, Amanda McDonnell, President of the Board of Education, presented the Board of Education Award to two students who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in four areas: academics, athletics, music, and clubs and organizations. Natalie McDowell and Maddox Day were the recipients of this year’s award.

The BRCS senior band performed a captivating piece composed by Yu Peng Chen, specially arranged for the occasion by music teacher, Susan Crane. Later in the ceremony, the senior choir members led the audience in singing the alma mater.

After the ceremony, the celebration continued on the front lawn, where friends and family members greeted and congratulated the newest alumni of Bolivar-Richburg Central School.

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