ELLENBURG DEPOT - The past has brought the graduating students at Northern Adirondack Central School to where they are today.
That was the message delivered at the school's annual commencement exercises June 24 by valedictorian Stephen Witkiewicz, who called graduation a time not only to look toward the future, but also one to contemplate the past and the memories shared.
"We can all remember our first day of kindergarten. Butterflies filled our stomachs as we nervously left mommy and daddy behind and entered the world of school, one that would occupy most of the rest of our lives - until tonight," said Witkiewicz.
The young friends he would play hide and seek with and sit next to on the bus would one day become the close friends he knows today, said Witkiewicz. And, even though high school included the inevitable "drama," he said, that is something that won't matter in the future.
"In 20 years, all the good times we shared will be much more important than any stupid he said-she said drama that seems like the end of the world now," said Witkiewicz.
Salutatorian Stephen Trudo said he considered it an honor to represent his class at graduation, knowing his ability to do so began 13 years ago when he and his fellow classmates began the journey that would lead them to that day.
"Many people have been there to help us decide which paths we would take throughout that journey," said Trudo. "I think that it would be hard to find another school around that has an environment as great as this one. We are a small, close knit community. Nothing goes on without everyone else knowing."
"Though, at times, that may be a little frustrating and disadvantageous, I think that it is a wonderful thing in the end," he added.