Lake George grads connect with their roots

LAKE GEORGE -The 79 Lake George High School graduates heard plenty of advice at Saturday's graduation event, but much of it was from unexpected sources - from schoolmates and alumni ranging from kindergarten age to well into their 80s.

The ceremony was preceded by a moment of silence for 2002 Lake George graduate Ben Osborn who was killed recently in Afghanistan combat. The observance of Osborn's dedicated service to the nation was met with a lengthy standing ovation.

After the traditional addresses from the top students in the graduating class, Lake George High School principal Francis Cocozza announced he enjoyed annually injecting a surprise into the ceremony.

Cocozza called upon nine Lake Georgians, representing various generations, to offer their advice. Those chosen ranged from a young schoolmate to octogenarian alumni. First to address the group was kindergartner Kyle Dolan, representing the Lake George Class of 2022. The youngster, garbed in a pressed suit and tie, confidently offered a few words of advice.

"You get what you get, and you don't get upset," he proclaimed.

Eighth grader Willie Arnold, representing the class of 2015, advised the grads to avoid bad choices.

"Do the right thing, because it's the 'right thing' to do!" he said.

Sarah Phillips, on behalf of the Class of 2011, advised them to exercise their strength of character, and be determined to reach their goals.

Peter Gaibrois, for the Class of 2009, said the grads should pursue new challenges.

"Get out of your comfort zone at Lake George High and go express and enjoy the endless opportunities that are out there," he said.

Kelcey Noble, of the Class of 2006, offered similar words.

"Create opportunities for yourself," she said, noting that one way to do that is to expand one's horizons, particularly through travel.

Next up was Roger Wells of the Class of 1983, now a science teacher at Lake George. He summed up his advice with two words, "Get Out!" which he expanded to the idea of exploring the world.

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