LOWER OXFORD >> Avon Grove Charter School’s message of creativity and ingenuity was not lost on the graduation speakers Thursday evening.
The Commencement Address for 70-member the class of 2018 was presented by one of its own. Bob Cirino, a graduate of the class of 2011, is a highly successful entrepreneur who is passionately involved in studying and achieving ecological sustainability for the earth. He is also the spokesman for Biochar, a very efficient and high temperature functioning fuel.
Cirino, who has traveled worldwide in his young lifetime, urged the graduates to try things that they believed in or were out of the ordinary and not be deterred by the risk of failure.
“Charter taught me that the path of default is not always the best,” he said.
He added that the graduates must “find their path” and follow it. “Be a champion of your own purpose and advocate for your own path,” he said.
In conclusion he advised, “Give love to the world.”
Principal Blase Maitland opened the programs with five points of advice he said he learned from his own life.
They are smile, admit your mistakes, don’t expect perfection, let the little kid inside stay with you and don’t be in a hurry to plan your life.
He also commented on their diplomas saying, “That certificate is just a piece of paper, but it is like gold to you.”
The students fondly received with applause and cheers Jeramiah Stone, the teacher they chose as staff speaker.
Math teacher Stone divided his speech in three parts: self, society and surroundings.
Of self he told them that your choices show who you truly are, but “life gives you plenty of homework.”
“Don’t be discouraged if life doesn’t go along as planned,” he said.
He added that their first jobs will not be their last, and that saying ‘yes’ to everything will wear them out.
As to their surroundings, he said “Consider how your actions impact others, and fill your life with experiences. And, yes, plant some trees and pick up some trash.”
The student speakers were Karaline Barry, Paige King and Quinn Gallagher. They took their turns at the microphone recalling memorable moments and experiences that they will always hold dear from their years at Charter.
Music teacher Anthony June led the senior members of the jazz band and chorus in several numbers. The chorus also released the new Avon Grove Charter School Alma Mater, which he wrote, for the first time.
The commencement ceremony took place at the Lincoln University International Cultural Center, as it does every year.