Schroon Lake Central School senior Emily Whipple gets a little help from class adviser Laura Corey prior to graduation ceremonies June 22.
Hard work pays off.
That was the message delivered to Schroon Lake Central School’s Class of 2012 during commencement exercises June 22.
Valedictorian Will Lowe told classmates to rely on “an enthusiastic drive to do one’s best.” Using an Aesop tale, Lowe urged graduates to work hard.
“Heaven helps those who help themselves,” he said. “And it is true; those who show that they are hard workers are more often helped by those who can lend a hand. Keep this in mind as you go through college or whatever your path through life may be, and always roll up your sleeves and get to work when the work has to be done.”
Lowe also spoke of growing up in Schroon Lake, recalling years spent with his classmates and teachers.
“While there are some who don’t appreciate a small town, I have always thanked God for letting me live in such a place as the Adirondacks,” Lowe said. “There are not many places where students can play more than one sport, or much less excel at more than one. There are not many places where you can have the same teachers for three years in a row, well that may be for the best. And there aren’t too many schools where the science prep room is taken up by a 300 gallon, chilled, self-sustaining aquatic ecosystem that has housed rainbow trout from half inch sac-fry to 11 inch monsters.
“But all these things that make Schroon Lake Central the way it is could not happen without the people who make up this school community,” he added.
Friendships forged at Schroon Lake Central School will last a lifetime, the valedictorian said.
“Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships’,” Lowe said. “I second that. The friends I have made here I will always remember. But there is no doubt that as we continue our lives we will make new friends and will grow further apart. It is a fact of life, but I can safely say that it has been a pleasure getting to know you all, so it is OK to stay in touch. Hearing from you will always be a cause of enjoyment.”
The Schroon Lake graduation ceremony included comments from Bill Rourke, a retiring faculty member, a video tribute to the class, an address by class adviser Laura Corey, the presentation of awards and scholarships, and remarks by salutatorian Matt Filler.
“As I prepared for what I would say today, I wasn’t quite sure where to start, but I knew that I couldn’t say much without saying thank you to those who have allowed me to be in this position today,” said Filler, who went on to express gratitude to family, friends, teachers and others.
Filler offered a series of quotations he believes reflect on the class. He quoted former NFL player and coach Tony Dungy, who observed, “You can have an impact anywhere you are.”
“There are going to be times when everything seems to be going wrong,” Filler said. “That’s a fact. The key is to make sure we take a step back, evaluate the situation and work to move forward and make the best of it. Even in these horrible circumstances we can know that we can still have an impact on the people around us. So will it be a positive or negative impact? Will we live with only ourselves in mind or will we be challenged to remember those around us as well?”
Filler then challenged classmates.
“Build lasting relationships,” he said. “Don’t use people. Have friendships that allow you and your friends to have support in times of need. True friendships last and they are symbiotic. They work for both people.
“Secondly, integrity matters,” Filler added. “Honesty matters. I don’t think there needs to be a further explanation on that.
“Next, don’t let others’ criticisms cause you to falter and fail,” he said. “Don’t put yourself down because of criticism, but rather use that criticism to get better. Sometimes it’s best to not take any of the criticism personally, but use it as an opportunity to grow.
“Lastly, know the truth,” Filler concluded. “Don’t fall for any lies and misconceptions that are thrown at you. There is truth, don’t let people try to twist your perspective away from it.”
The Schroon Lake Central School Class of 2012 includes Samantha Bessey, Amelia Botterbusch, Woody Brazee, Brandi Busick, Sarah Derosier, Anthony DeVita, Matthew Filler, Kathaleen Gallagher, Noah Gath, Matthew Goodrow, Kyle Gregson, Jessica Grey, Lee Hall, Uriah Harvey, Dylan Jack, Jonathan Lough, William Lowe, Tiffany Messing, Michael Murdock, Austin Pastore, Rebecca Pecor, Melanie Philp, Tiffany Ramirez, Katelyn Rose, Matthew Savarie, Jordan Taylor, Samantha Thatcher, Darren Tyrrell, Emily Whipple, Ian Williams, Dustin Woodard and Justin Wachowski.