It is time to say goodbye to our seniors.
The Amherst Steele High School Class of 2019 will take a bow starting at 3 p.m. Saturday in a ceremony at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave. East, Cleveland.
About 325 are expected to march in the commencement ceremony.
This year, graduates’ names will be read by social studies and history teachers Al McConihe and Alex Baldwin as they step forward to receive diplomas.
Amherst seniors received more than $100,000 in local scholarship money.
They also racked up more than $3.4 million in presidential scholarships.
This is the first group of graduates for principal Joe Tellier, who said the Class of 2019 will always hold a special place in his heart.
“They saw me, a raw person, at the beginning of the year. I tried to be with them, spend a ton of time, and get to know them. They saw my rookie year,” he said.
In the fall, before teachers reported to Steele, student council member Jenna McCloskey and senior class president Emma Kelley met with Tellier to share their hopes and expectations for the year.
He feels like they’ve accomplished a great deal.
“They made their mark. It’s been a fun group to watch. Every group has a personality of its own but you never forget your first year,” the principal said.
The class has taught him to slow down enjoy the banquets, National Honor Society inductions, football games, and concerts along the way.
But while seniors can play hard, they’ve also proven themselves to be a well-grounded bunch, Tellier said.
“I think they take things very seriously. At times, kids get a bad rap for not respecting things,” he said. Whether listening to a Holocaust survivor, supporting Comets softball players, or honoring military-bound classmates, the senior class has risen to the occasion.
“I just think that for this class, the moment’s not too big for them. I think they grasp the magnitude of what’s coming for them,” he said.
Commencement is open to the public. There is no charge (unless you pay for parking) and no restrictions on seating.