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Keene graduates sent out on a high note

Keene Central School valedictorian Sam Balzac receives applause from his classmates and the audience after concluding his Oscars-style musical number during the KCS commencement June 22. Balzac and salutatorian Victoria Patenaude also presented awards as part of their farewell to the school community.

Keene Central School valedictorian Sam Balzac receives applause from his classmates and the audience after concluding his Oscars-style musical number during the KCS commencement June 22. Balzac and salutatorian Victoria Patenaude also presented awards as part of their farewell to the school community. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— At the end, Balzac gave his final message to his fellow graduates.

“I say every moment is an opportunity for originality,” he said, “like turning a graduation speech into an Oscar Awards ceremony.”

The class also heard from elementary teacher Melissa LaVallee, who told the students to take time out from the constant stream of information and focus on the small things from time to time.

“Pause and check in with yourself,” LaVallee said. “When do we take time to reflect on the little things that make life so precious and special? A hand-written thank-you note or a phone call to family members means so much more. Remember the art of face-to-face communication.”

LaVallee also spoke to the five members of the 20-member class that were part of the international program at the school.

“You brought a lot of joy, smiles and new perspective into our school,” LaVallee said. “As a whole, this class has become an outstanding class that everyone will hate to see leave and one that we will miss dearly.”

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