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Class of 2015 prepares for graduation

TRI-COUNTY AREA--This week will mark a milestone for high school seniors throughout the area. Students will be honored for their achievements and receive their diplomas on one of three days, Thursday, June 25, Friday, June 26 or through Saturday, June 27.
The Dundee class of 2015 will hold their graduation ceremony Thursday, June 25 this year at 6 p.m. Dundee Principal Chris Arnold said 68 students are graduating this year, which is up from last year. He describes this year's class as "an exceptional class of young men and women and leaders who have led well at Dundee Central School and are destined for great things."
"My favorite memory of this class would be the daily greetings and encounters with the seniors," Arnold said. "I will miss the smiles, warm greetings and the way they led our student body through respect and kindness. I am very fortunate to have worked with, and come to know all of the students of the class of 2015."
Dundee Superintendent Kelly Houck added the district has been very fortunate to have them as members of the DCS community.
"We are confident they will continue to excel in whatever their future endeavors will entail," Houck said.
The Odessa-Montour class of 2015 will hold their graduation ceremony Friday, June 26 at 6 p.m. Superintendent Chris Wood, who also served as principal at the beginning of the year, said this class has 56 graduating seniors, which is down three students from last year. He added this class has students graduating with 53 college credits.
"This group, though it is incredibly diverse, has been a tight-knit group over the past six years," Wood said.
Penn Yan will host their graduation ceremony for the class of 2015 Friday, June 26. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Penn Yan Superintendent Howard Dennis describes this year's class as "an absolutely wonderful group of young adults." He added his favorite memory of this class is the active role they took in helping the community recover following the flash flooding in the village last year.
Hammondsport will hold their graduation ceremony Friday, June 26 at 6 p.m. Hammondsport Principal Tad Rounds said this year's class is graduating 36 students, which is down from last year.
"This class has excelled academically, musically and athletically," Rounds said. "The students have contributed countless hours volunteering in the school and community. The students are committed to post-secondary success, pursuing degrees in engineering, education and business to name a few. Also, we have students who will be serving their country honorably in the armed forces."
Rounds said his most memorable moment was the students stepping down from the homecoming court to allow their close friends to receive the honor, showing all students were valued and respected.
"They are a diverse group of young people who respect each other and their differences," Hammondsport Superintendent Kyle Bower added. "They have a variety of skills and strengths that is rare for a school our size." He added his favorite memory of this graduating class was also how they came together to show their school spirit at homecoming.
Watkins Glen's graduation ceremony is Saturday, June 27 at 2 p.m. Watkins Glen Superintendent Tom Phillips said this year's class will graduate 88 members, which is up by 12 students from last year. He mentioned this is the first graduating class from the newly consolidated single-campus school district, adding this is also the class that began the move to integrate technology into the classroom setting. Phillips said in fifth grade, this class was involved in the Mobile Learning Device (MLD) program, while this year they piloted the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, which allowed students to use their own computers, tablets or cell phones as part of the instructional setting.
"[My favorite memory is] the leadership as a class they provided for the rest of the school," Phillips said. "This class cares about one another no matter your status or struggle. They are a tight group that have a unique humanitarian focus." He added he will also remember the double victories in boys and girls basketball at the fieldhouse on the same night this year, sending both of them to the Section IV finals.
Principal Kai D'Alleva said he also had a great time watching both varsity basketball teams compete for Section IV Class C titles on the same day. He added this class is unique because it has two accelerated students who doubled up to graduate a year early.

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