Valedictorian Sara LoTemplio stands with her father Joe.
Photo by Stephen Bartlett.
SARANAC – To Sara LoTemplio, she only walked through Saranac High School’s doors as a freshman yesterday, tripping up the stairs and spilling her books on the floor. She thought she’d never escape the place.
As the years progressed, she figured she already knew English and history had already happened. As she wondered what she was learning, that question was answered during one of her life-altering trips with the North Country Mission of Hope in Nicaragua.
A group returning from an orphanage told of the children’s dormitories, where they discovered a roof decaying due to sulfuric acid in the air from a nearby volcano. LoTemplio suggested galvanizing the roof, or rather, covering it with a type of paint to protect the tin.
“As they continued, I quietly realized that I had just used what I learned in chemistry in real life,” said the Saranac High School Class of 2012 Salutatorian, speaking to a large crowd at Plattsburgh State’s Field House.
LoTemplio was 1 of more than 130 graduates celebrated by family, friends, faculty, staff and Saranac School District community members.
The crowd stood, cheering as the graduates entered, men in red and women in black, cameras flashing all around them as they walked up the middle of the room and took their seats.
After 13 years of homework, rehearsals, practices, tests and classroom rules, graduates of the Class of 2012 have finally earned their rites of passage, said Superintendent Kenneth Cringle. In doing so, he continued, the graduates inherited the responsibility of making the world a better place.
Cringle stressed that they have been given the opportunity to become the greatest generation. He further reminded them that no exercise is better for the human heart than reaching down and helping another person.
When Valedictorian Alexis Racette took the stage, she highlighted the importance of being yourself, and followed that by announcing, “I happen to be a nerd.”