HARTFORD -- Most of the 33 members of the Class of 2013 had been in class together at Hartford Central School for 14 years. Alanna Clapp was only off by one, but that one year stuck out.
Clapp accepted her diploma on Friday night a year early. She took two classes at SUNY Adirondack, doubled up on English class at Hartford and tested out of a couple classes to finish a year ahead of schedule.
“I had to,” Clapp said. “My dad relocated (for work), so my family was separated and if I graduated a year early, I would be able to get my family back together.”
Clapp’s father moved to Iowa the summer she finished her sophomore year and her mother stayed behind with her. That summer, Clapp took the two classes at SUNY Adirondack to get ahead.
Five members of the graduating class spoke as part of the ceremony, as did Acting Superintendent Andrew Cook. Molly Spear gave the welcoming address. Rebecca Holmes spoke as part of the ceremony to honor the graduates’ parents. Sarah Godnick gave the salutatory address. Jacob Whiting gave the farewell address and Rachel Liebig gave the valedictory address.
In her speech, Liebig spoke about how much of a change it will be for all of them not to be returning to Hartford in the fall. She said she learned to appreciate the small community at the school. Though she said most of her memories did not revolve around sports, the example she shared did.
“My favorite memory was at the 2011 (volleyball) sectionals against Argyle, when during the final match my fellow Tanagers chanted, ‘Warm up the bus.’ We won the match 25-10.”
Godnick encouraged her fellow graduates to remember their “Hartfordness” — a word she said isn’t in the dictionary and no one can really describe, but that they all know what it is — because that is something that makes them unique and that they will always share.