Rye Lake Campus Decagon Commencement
Rye Lake Decagon Graduation and Prom
Three Young Men Graduate from Rye Lake Decagon Program
The Rye Lake Decagon Program on June 12 celebrated the accomplishments of three young men at graduation, and then enjoyed music, dancing, homemade food and a photo booth at a prom party and luncheon that followed.
SWBOCES Center for Special Services students Caron Brown, Seth Darkey and Shawn Moriarty donned royal blue robes and mortarboards to accept their diplomas. Shawn told the students, families and staff at the ceremony that his favorite activities at Rye Lake included relaxing on the beanbag chair, going to gym with Coach Joe and spending time in the sensory room.
“I will miss being at Rye Lake,” said Shawn, who was in the program for about five years. “I want to thank my mom. I love you mom.”
Rhonda Owens, their teacher, said she is proud of the strides all three young men made while at Rye Lake.
“Your families have done an amazing job working in tandem with us to get you ready for the next step,” she said. “Congratulations as you get ready to move on to the next phase of your life. Boys, I will really miss you all.”
Ms. Owens spoke about each graduate’s unique qualities. “Seth is a super happy young man who is so endearing and he always has a smile on his face,” she said. “He’s an amazing dancer and has some of the best dance moves."
Caron is a gentle young man who is always smiling and giving people high-fives, Ms. Owens said. “He has done amazingly well this year communicating with all the adults around him. He uses his signs and has made such nice progress,” she said.
Shawn is smart and funny, Ms. Owens said. “He can tell you so many facts about movies, history and music,” she said. “He has an amazing sense of humor. He loves telling jokes and always has one ready for you.”
Principal Allison Emig thanked families, students’ home school districts and SWBOCES staff members for all their hard work on behalf of Caron, Seth and Shawn.
“Along the way on this journey, we had to work as a team in order to build trust and a true partnership where collaboration was possible,” she said. “The success of these three young men was truly built on these core values. Parents, we appreciate that year after year, you trusted us to care for your children, to teach them and to prepare them for the next phase of their lives.”
The post-graduation celebration and prom took place in the Decagon, which was decorated with yellow, gold and black balloons, black tablecloths with gold runners, graduation-themed confetti and more. Students and families ate macaroni and cheese, sausage and peppers and other dishes that staff members made. Everyone had fun wearing boas, oversized sunglasses, masks, wigs and other props to have their photos taken in front of a festive backdrop.