CHESTERTOWN Four years ago, North Warren Central School principal Theresa Andrew had attempted to find an adult advisor for the Class of 2013, but all the school staffers she asked turned her down, she said June 22 moments before the group’s graduation ceremonies.
But Tom Walker, a teaching aide at the school, took on the job, she added.
During the ceremony, Walker told the soon-to-be graduates that he had been fearful of the duties as advisor for the group of strong-willed, outspoken individuals — ninth-graders at the time.
“I was terrified,” he said.
But Walker’s tenure in the post proved to be a positive one — a profound learning experience not only for the students but for him, he continued.
“Mentoring you through high school proved to be magical,” he said in his speech that exceeded 20 minutes.
In his presentation, Walker advised the students to step out of their comfort zone, serve others, never give up, and not to quit acquiring knowledge.
“Wisdom is knowing what you don’t know,” he said. “Every destination is but a doorway to another.”
Three students graduate early
This class, labeled as “different” by school authorities, indisputably earned the title in the commencement rites, as three juniors graduated with the group — Alessandra Pratt, Hannah Tomaszewski, and Savannah Howe — after each one had earned enough credits to do so.
Savannah, an equestrian who is headed for SUNY Cobleskill and plans to become a farrier, talked of why she wanted to exit North Warren early.
“I wanted to get a head start in life and ‘go for it,’” she said.
Hannah also revealed her motive. She’s off to Austin’s School of Spa Technology in Albany this fall.
“Why not get ahead and move forward,” she said.
Alessandra is headed for Clarkson University this fall, enrolled in their Early Admissions program for outstanding high schoolers who’ve completed 11th grade. She plans to major in biomedical engineering.