It was a bittersweet weekend for Gouverneur High School and its class of 2020. Students who should be celebrating graduation, instead, are walking the stage without one of their own.
The entire community mourns the loss of fellow senior, 18-year-old Treyanna Summerville, and trying to look forward with so many painful memories still so fresh in their minds.
As Gouverneur began its class of 2020 graduation ceremony, the pandemic and coronavirus restrictions felt like an afterthought. Instead, the class was graduating with heavy hearts without one of their own. Summerville had been killed in her home just days before.
"So we carved out some time, this time tonight to celebrate the life of Trey, what we felt was the best way, together, like we always do as a team, as friends, as a school and a community," Gouverneur CSD Board of Education President David Fenlong said.
The remembrance enabled Superintendent Lauren French to share her journal on the class of 2020. The page on her memories, the page on Treyanna, and the page on graduation. French told the students to take all the time in the world to mourn the loss, but not to forget to live and truly be happy they have completed this part of their journey.
"Trey is always in my book. I've written on those pages. I haven't finished writing, but it is okay for me to turn the page and write graduation. I celebrated tonight. Celebrating graduation does not minimize how much some of you loved Trey," French said.
A message the students, who have had an incredibly hard last few months, can take to heart.
"It's always almost easier to say that 'this is a hard thing to do, so I'm not going to do it. But usually, the hardest things in life reap the greatest rewards. I can't think of a better example than this period of our lives," Celia Carbone, a Class of 2020 member said.
A 13-year-old girl has been charged with Summerville's murder. It is however a complex case that St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gary Pasqua tells us, is still very much under investigation.