First Annual Commencement

The First Annual Commencement of the Skidmore Public School took place on the evening of Friday, April 21, 1899.  The school’s one graduate was celebrated, awarded her diploma, and was encouraged by Dr. J. E. Shepard, President of the School Board, to “Be brave, be earnest, be true.  Be quick to hope.  Be strong and patient to endure; be mighty to achieve.”  The Skidmore Standard published the following account, along with transcripts of the essay Miss Burke read and the remarks made by Dr. J. E. Shepard at the presentation of the diploma, on the last page of its April 28 edition.

Commencement Exercises
First Annual Commencement of the Skidmore Public School
A Good Showing and an Entertaining Programme

Those who went to the Christian church last Friday evening to witness the High School Commencement exercises were given a treat all around in a musical and literary line.

Something good was anticipated and something fine was realized.  Each one of the young ladies on the program was thoroughly conversant with her part and did it in a faultless manner.

The exercises were opened with music by the Mandolin Club, followed by an invocation by Rev. J. W. Owen.  Miss Callie Grigsby recited a selection from Will Carleton – “Three Lovers,” in a very charming manner.

Miss Edith Torrey’s rendition of “Hochzeit March,” as a violin solo, was excellent.  Miss Torrey plays very nicely, was the verdict of all.

“Hunting a Mouse,” as a recitation by Miss Ada Garnett, was well rendered and occasioned much merriment among the listeners.

Miss Edna Trapp surpassed all her past efforts at singing in her vocal solo, “Just as the Sun Went Down.”

“Old Folks at Home,” in “rag time” is a very difficult selection but Miss Wilma Mills interpretation of it on the piano was splendid, to say the least.

Miss Delka Davis rendition of “The Murderer” was excellent.  She is a talented elocutionist.

Miss Leona Wright won new laurels as a singer and was roundly encored on her vocal solo, “Where the Apple Blossoms Fall.”

Miss Zola Burke, the only graduate, read an essay that speaks volumes for her own attainment and for the excellent work of our school.

According to the paper, the presentation ended with the following from Dr. J. E. Shepard:
“By virtue of the recommendation of the faculty of the Skidmore High School and the authorization of the board of education of the school district of the village of Skidmore, I hereby declare Miss Zola Burke justly entitled to and duly vested with the distinction indicated within the body of her diploma.  And in conclusion, Miss Zola, I bid you God speed in every righteous undertaking, in every good purpose, in every pure desire.”

God speed to our 2013 graduates, as well.

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