The 14 graduates of Keene Central School took a moment at their graduation ceremony June 26 to reflect on the nurturing care they've received in the small community they called home.
Valedictorian Kevin Stolz said graduation marked a time of change that involved leaving home, but said home is a relative concept.
"I know everyone in this class well enough to say that none of us will have trouble making our new situation into a home," he said.
Still, Stolz expressed thanks to the people of his "first and dearest home," noting the support he's received as a musician and artist.
"I have always felt cared for and cared about, I have always felt encouraged, and I have always, always, felt loved," said Stolz. "That's something special, maybe even unique about this community."
Taylor McCabe, class salutatorian, urged students to be the change they wish to see in the world, taking inspiration from Mohandas Gandhi, among others.
"One person can make a difference," she said. "All they have to do is follow their passion and deliberately take the first steps toward change."
The 63 graduates of Tupper Lake High School were honored at their commencement ceremony June 25, and likewise recognized the people who helped shape them.
Emily Sanford, class valedictorian, said the class had their parents and teachers to thank for getting them to this point.
"Whatever you do with your life I hope that you know and will live knowing that there is no limit on your dreams," she said. "Life is about choices, choose well."
Salutatorian Amber Lawyer said her class has had a devotion to community service. She noted their wide range of talents and interests and their ability to excel in each one, whether it be music, arts, or sports.
"As for the Class of 2010; our foot print is unique, brilliant in its own sense, and too special to be filled by any other," said Lawyer. "We have done what we have done because of who we are, both as individuals and together."