Saranac Lake While members of the Saranac Lake School Board of Education eagerly awaited the results of the budget vote Tuesday, May 15, they spent some of their regularly scheduled meeting honoring the Top 10 percent of graduating seniors.
High School Principal Bruce VanWeelden presented six of the 14 graduates at the meeting; the rest were busy with other activities. Those in attendance were valedictorian Summer Schneider, Skylar Dell, Jackson Rockefeller, Tyler Rondeau, Emily Shrope and Jazzmyn Tuthill. Those not present were salutatorian Jacqueline Trudeau, Erin Donaldson, Marisa Farmer, William Fieroh, Kaytlin Gochenaur, Leah Kleist, Gabrielle Lewis and Jamaal Tuthill.
VanWeelden thanked board members for inviting the Top 10 percent to their meeting and giving them special recognition.
“I think it’s a nice welcome surprise because I don’t recall it being done since I’ve taken over at the helm here,” VanWeelden said.
School Superintendent Gerald Goldman congratulated the students.
“Sometimes we lose sight of what we do here,” Goldman said. “Sometimes at this end of things it’s all about money and tests and bussing, and it is a $28 million budget, so we care about it. But everybody sitting at this table cares about kids and education and what you do and what you care about and what you’re here for.”
Goldman also recognized that the students’ academic prowess was not achieved overnight.
“You didn’t just do it once or twice or a little bit in your spare time; you did it over a four-year period,” Goldman said.
The superintendent pointed out that there’s sometimes a mindset in school that being smart is not cool or OK.
“I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s OK to be ambitious, it’s OK to be a little bit independent, it’s OK to be academically oriented, to be interested in ideas and different ways of doing things,” he said.
Goldman then thanked the students for attending the meeting.
“The best part about this is you don’t have to stay for the rest of the meeting,” Goldman said.
The meeting was brief, going into executive session shortly after the Top 10 percent students left. School Board members were anxious to learn about the results of the school vote.
The 2012-13 budget passed 655-274, and Miles Van Nortwick and incumbents Deb Lennon and Katie Fischer were elected to the School Board.