Schools across the region held commencement ceremonies for their 2010 graduates last weekend, marking a major milestone for young men and women and the communities in which they have grown.
The 23 graduates of Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School celebrated their matriculation June 25 and paid tribute to the people who supported their journey.
Class salutatorian Joshua Pierce reflected on life, comparing it to a hike up a mountain.
"As I look around tonight, I see many people that have influenced me. Each of you has helped to equip me for my own journey up my mountain," he said. "I know that I am not only speaking for myself, but for the rest of the graduates on the stage with me."
Valedictorian Lance Lee congratulated his fellow classmates for surviving their time in school and thanked parents and teachers for helping to make the most of the past 13 years.
"I'm sure most of us shared a dislike of school at some time or another due to tests or other reasons, but I also believe in the good times we've had," said Lee. "Yes, we've had our days when we just craved to run away and never be seen again, but we have also experienced the joys of school which have made us proud to have endured these years."
Hundreds gathered on the grounds of the Lake Placid Speedskating Oval June 25 to recognize the 47 graduates of Lake Placid Central School
Salutatorian Morgan Caudill shared her experience as a student moving into the district six years ago, wary of how her life would change in a new school.
"But my [first] day went better than I expected, and the next six years were more amazing than I could have imagined," she said. "I never felt like an outsider; I felt that I belonged. I was accepted."