Andes marks 75th grad class

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By John Bernhardt
Seventy-five years ago, 18 bright-eyed seniors enthusiastically received their sheepskins as the first graduating class at the brand new Andes Central School.

On Friday, June 22, ACS will connect the present with the past by celebrating their Diamond Anniversary as the community gathers to publicly certify the graduation credentials of 10 current seniors and at the same time celebrate a 75-year tradition that includes nearly 1,200 graduates who have earned Andes diplomas. The program will begin at 7 p.m.

Andes Superintendent Dr. Robert Chakar and a committee of ACS staff members are planning a gala anniversary graduation event. Chakar is hoping a large contingent of ACS alumni will be present.

“This is an open invitation to the entire Andes community and Andes alumni near and far to join us for our ACS Diamond Anniversary graduation,” offered Chakar. “Talk to your friends. Talk to your classmates. Reconnect with old acquaintances by joining us at our graduation ceremony and celebrating a rich tradition that covers 75 years at Andes,” concluded Chakar.

The anniversary graduation will take place in an outdoor ceremony behind the school. A large enclosed tent, lighted and sound equipped with a 450-person seating capacity has been rented to accommodate the expected crowd. A golf cart shuttle transport service will escort attendees from the parking lots in front of the bus garage to the outdoor tent.

The Honorable Joseph Grieco, a town justice in Andes and former teacher and principal at ACS, is the graduation guest speaker. Former administrators, teachers and staff are invited to attend. ACS Senior Sage Beemer will be the graduation master of ceremonies. Matt Armstrong is the ACS Valedictorian and Ashley Terry the Salutatorian.

The celebration will continue on Saturday with a reception in the school gymnasium beginning at 11 a.m. and running for two hours.