ELLENBURG DEPOT - The Northern Adirondack Central School Class of 2010 has moved on, holding optimism for their future.
Sixty-six members of the senior class walked into the school's Norman V. Kavanaugh Auditorium June 25 for the last time as students and left for the first time as graduates.
Salutatorian Ashleigh Lord, one of the graduating ceremony's featured speakers, told her fellow graduates it is up to each of them to decide their future.
"Where you want to go, who you want to become and how you're going to make sure you get there no matter what you face along the way," was up to them, said Lord. "As graduates of Class of 2010, we're all at the same point in our lives. We've made it this far together and now everything is about to change. It's time to branch out and become the individuals we were meant to be."
Valedictorian Abigail Spinner addressed her class with reluctance to say goodbye.
"We have done so much to get here and yet have accomplished so little in the scheme of things," she said.
Spinner jokingly referred to the "real world" after high school as a place of "unlimited bathroom privileges." However, on a more serious note, Spinner went on to say the future is not bleak for her graduating class as long as they are able to convert passions into realities, and reminded her fellow classmates to stay kind.
"As long as we try to remember to be kind to one another, to try to be happy and help others to be happy themselves and attempt to reverse some of the harm that we have inflicted on the environment, we'll probably be okay in the end," she said.
In the end, both Lord's and Spinner's speeches delivered the message of believing in oneself.
"Belief in one's self is more beneficial than all of the belief you could possibly receive from others," said Lord. "Realize what you are capable of and then remember that your true capability is a path you just came up with."
Though the Class of 2010 was proud of their accomplishments, there was still something - or specifically someone - missing, said class president Benjamin LaValley.
"There is one person we all wish could be here tonight, Christian Michael Garceau," said LaValley.
Garceau lost his life as the result of a motor vehicle accident during the first week of school in September, but was not forgotten during the ceremony. A single chair was reserved for him at the end of the front row, with a green cap and gown placed over it and Garceau's picture sitting atop it.
"Christian made an impact on all of our lives in one way or another. I think we'll always remember his smile; he always knew how to light up a room," said LaValley. "His passing made all of us realize that we should keep people we love close and never hold anything back because life could end in an instant."