Plattsburgh seniors make their way into the Field House for graduation.
No one is perfect, Plattsburgh High School Principal Glenn Hurlock told the graduating Class of 2012.
But strive to be the best you can be, he followed the above statement up with.
Also, be resilient, and in those low times turn to your human connections to help get you through the day.
“This is an important day for our graduates, our families, our school and the Plattsburgh community,” Hurlock said at the 2012 commencement at the Plattsburgh State Field House.
More than 120 graduates, dressed in black caps and gowns, entered the Field House to shout-outs, whistles and hand clapping. They smiled, fidgeted, high-fived, joked and stared blank-faced as they prepared for their final high school rite of passage.
“The whole concept of graduating is conflicting in emotion for graduates, parents and the school,” said Superintendent James “Jake” Short.
Graduates and parents are excited but also worried about what the next year will bring, he said. They wonder about jobs, college roommates and boot camp.
To parents, Short said, the job is never done.
“Once you are a parent, you are always a parent.”
Etienne Beguin, the class valedictorian, reminded everyone that graduates showed up to classes, listened to lessons and completed homework assignments. But their high school experience soared beyond academics.
“We have been part of an organized society.”
He further pointed to the changes the students have experienced, including The Great Recession, which significantly impacted their community and school district.
“However, we have power and will make better the world we inherited.”
Salutatorian Elliott Munger compared four years of high school to Nicolas Cage films.
“Both had ups and downs.”
But ultimately, like the films of Nicolas Cage, life is all right.
Senior speaker Parker Carpenter said every morning he woke up looking forward to high school. The classroom supplied him with knowledge, he said, and the hallways gave him wisdom.
“This has been our home for the last four years,” Carpenter said. “There is a part of all of us that will miss this place.”
But the class of 2012 is at a point when it must move on. This is the starting line of a new journey.
Carpenter pledged in 10 years, at the reunion, to remember the names of every graduate sitting at the ceremony. They are part of his family.
“We are all up that mountain now. Don’t back down. Keep going up. I promise you, the view will be amazing.”
The lights dimmed as a slide show appeared on the wall accompanied by the music of Dave Matthews.
Take my hand ‘cause we’re walking out of here Oh, right out of here, love is all we need, dear The space between what’s wrong and right Is where you’ll find me hiding, waiting for you The space between your heart and mine Is the space we’ll fill with time The wall filled with images of friends, in and out of the classroom, filling the space between school’s beginning and end as another song echoed through the Field House: But whatever road you choose I’m right behind you, win or lose Forever young…