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Lake Placid graduates told by former teacher to smile

Lake Placid High School seniors Natalia Smith, Danielle Balestrini and Ayla Thompson watch as family and friends gather for the LPCS Commencement June 22. Thompson was the class salutatorian.

Lake Placid High School seniors Natalia Smith, Danielle Balestrini and Ayla Thompson watch as family and friends gather for the LPCS Commencement June 22. Thompson was the class salutatorian. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

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Members of the LPCS graduating class celebrate with confetti.

— With the Adirondack Mountains and home of the Miracle on Ice as their backdrop, members of the Lake Placid Central School Class of 2012 prepared for their next journey in graduation ceremonies June 22.

Valedictorian Megan Borland said that she was impressed by the variety that could be found among her classmates.

“We are all so different, but that is what makes us so great,” Borland said. “Anything that needs to be accomplished in life can be by one of our classmates. There is a commitment to each other and compassion for one another, and that is the most important lesson I believe we can take from high school.”

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Megan Borland delivers the valedictory address.

Borland also told her classmates to be friendly to others.

“You can help so many and many others that you will never even know about,” she said. “Keep the small town kindness that you have seen here.”

Borland added that graduation was a “checkpoint” in each of their lives.

“Don’t accept this as an end,” she said. “There is so much life ahead.”

Salutatorian Ayla Thompson said that it was up to each of them to keep their school society going, a strength that would be needed as they moved on.

“We all have our own world, but to keep a society running, we all have a purpose,” Thompson said. “Some of us will change rolls over time and some of us will have multiple rolls, but you need to give it your all and don’t do things with only half of your heart.”

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Ayla Thompson delivers the salutatory address.

Thompson added that the graduates needed to find something in their lives and give it their all.

“Find something that separates you from the person on your left and the person on your right,” she said. “Give it your all and be yourself.”

Retired elementary school teacher Mary Kelley talked about having the graduates as students and reminded them to keep smiling.

“It is the greatest asset you can have because of the character that you show when you are smiling,” Kelley said. “It cuts across languages and says it all. There is nothing more empowering in life than this amazing asset, so let it be yours.”

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Mary Kelley delivers the commencement address.

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Lake Placid high school science teacher Micah Stewart was very glad to lose a wager that he had made with the Class of 2012. He had promised the members of his physics class that if they all passed the state Regent’s exam, he would cut his hair and style it into a mohawk, colored in LPCS blue and gold.

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