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LaValley gives advice to Tupper Lake graduates

School Board President Mike Dechene hands graduating senior Elizabeth Boylan, of Piercefield, her diploma during the June 23 commencement ceremony in the Tupper Lake Middle/High School gymnasium.

School Board President Mike Dechene hands graduating senior Elizabeth Boylan, of Piercefield, her diploma during the June 23 commencement ceremony in the Tupper Lake Middle/High School gymnasium. Photo by Andy Flynn.

•8) Hometown: “Tupper Lake will always be your hometown. Now some of you are screaming to leave, and you don’t want to look back. But one day you’re going to realize that Tupper Lake really is the center of the universe. Now like it or not, it’s helped shape you. You’ll realize that this community is an incredible place that pulls together when it needs to, that the people care about you, that you are always welcome to come back to your hometown.”

•9) Faith: “Life throws a lot of crap at us ... There is a higher energy out there ... When you face difficult times, instead of crying, ‘Why me,’ try saying, ‘Show me.’”

•10) Face challenges: During a High Peaks Hospice day at L.P. Quinn Elementary School, LaValley asked one girl, “Where’s the strangest place you ever found a coin? She replied, ‘In my throat.’ Well, it begged the next question, ‘How did you get it out?’”

There was a little second-grade boy sitting there.

“Without hesitation, he said, ‘She pooped it.’ So, what did I take away from that exchange? A young person’s view of a complicated matter can be quite simple ... That little second-grade boy knew what needed to be said and knew that’s what everyone else was probably thinking. The difference was, he said it. It wasn’t offensive; it was honest ... When confronted with a challenge, don’t turn away from it. Face it head-on, even when it might be a little uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to step in the middle of it.”

Valedictorian

The valedictorian for the Class of 2012 is Kelsie St. Louis, the daughter of Kevin and Becky St. Louis. She plans to attend Clarkson University, working toward a doctorate in physical therapy.

“Robert Frost once said that, ‘Education is hanging around until you've caught on.’ Well guys, I think we finally caught on,” St. Louis said in her commencement speech. “And I say finally because some of us never thought that we would be able to walk across this floor today, until approaching our senior year. For myself, I think I've caught on long enough to say that I am ready to leave.”

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