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Patriots take the stage one final time

Logan Snow (left) assists Ashlee Estes (right) with her cap before the AuSable Valley graduation ceremony June 28.

Logan Snow (left) assists Ashlee Estes (right) with her cap before the AuSable Valley graduation ceremony June 28. Photo by Teah Dowling.

CLINTONVILLE — The doors opened at 9 a.m. as students walked passed the outdoor fountain into the main hallway of AuSable Valley for the last time.

They all gathered into the cafeteria, wearing their summer dresses with high-heeled shoes or suits with ties that needed some adjusting.

Some graduates felt excited for their last day, while others became teary eyed by the memories “good ole days” of high school and leaving their fellow classmates going off to different colleges ranging from Clinton Community to St. Lawrence.

As time grew near, they started to put their caps and gowns on, trying to figure out how to put the caps on and how the tassels were supposed to go: the left or the right side.

“If anybody needs a pin for their cap, we have pins over here,” said the group of teachers helping the students get ready for their big day: David Waterhouse, Danielle North, Ingrid Cote, Renee Rhino and others.

Rushing to get ready, tassels became tangled, caps fell off and zippers started breaking from the red and blue gowns that were too baggy for the soon-to-be graduates’ bodies.

Like a middle school dance, the gentleman in blue were on one side with the ladies in red on the other, taking photos and discussing their future plans, while some stayed alone nervous of the crowd they had to face.

“Okay. It’s time to line up everybody!” Rhino screamed throughout the low-roofed cafeteria.

As they had practiced before, with the red on the right and blue on the left, they lined up at the doors in the cafeteria stretching out to the back along the wall in an L-shaped line.

In the gymnasium, the music of the AuSable Valley choir and band filled the air as they sung “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the students warning alarm that the graduation was starting.

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