HYDE PARK – A soggy week turned dry in time for the annual Lamoille Union graduation. Under sunny skies, family, friends and community members bid a fond farewell to the Class of 2013.
Principal Brian Schaffer opened the ceremony by thanking the Lamoille Union grounds crew, who worked extra hard to make sure the fields were ready for the guests and over flow parking.
After the Lamoille Union High and Middle School band provided accompaniment for the seniors as they marched to their seats, Senior Class President Alec Sansone led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and Senior Emily Lourie sang the National Anthem.
In his salutatory address, Giulio Salerno compared his morning commute to school to the trek he and his fellow classmates were making in life. Salerno explained how his drive begins amidst the buildings and structures of Johnson, just as their education began with the buildings and structure of the school system. He said he follows along Route 100 past fields and valleys that are sometimes cloudy, just as the outlook for the future is sometimes cloudy as students decide where they are going in life. At the end of his speech, he pointed out his analogy was flawed in one respect. On his drive into school, the trip always ended at Lamoille Union, but in the real world life does not end at school... instead, he said, the road goes on.
Seniors Amelia Machia and John Sciortino, along with schoolmate Keegan Farara and teacher Doug Boardman performed a traditional Irish Folk song, entitled The Parting Glass.
Superintendent Joe Ciccolo told students with graduation their lives as an adult begin. “You are your own single parent,” he said.
Ciccolo compared his role to that of the Wizard in the land of Oz. He said just like the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, the students already possess the skills they will need to go on in life whatever “blue and gold brick road.”
In her valedictory address, Lucy Rogers said while trapping grizzly bears with a biologist in British Columbia, she found the answer to a question that had been puzzling her. Knowing she was one of 3.5 million graduates around the country, she wasn’t quite sure of the reason to congratulate someone for doing something so many others were doing as well.
She explained she realized the skills she was using in the mountains of Canada were learned at Lamoille Union, not just the scholastic information needed, but the skills needed to interact with people at a bear camp and the ability to stick with a schedule, but adapt to changes to that schedule when necessary.
She said she went on to realize they had all been given a great gift, and they were at graduation because of what they did with the opportunity that had been offered to them. And with that, she congratulated her fellow classmates on their graduation as well.
Lamoille Union High School Registrar Christine Cooney gave the graduation address. She said she was honored to do so, even if she was third in voting behind Liam Neeson and Big Bird.
Cooney’s speech included a list of things, that as registrar she can and cannot tell people about the class of 2013. Included in this list was the realization that girls can create migraine forming drama and boys do stupid things. She also let the crowd know she was not able to tell them that Principal Brian Schaffer was nervous when he heard the topic of her speech. Cooney worked in as many members of the class as she could.
As a sort of thank you during the awarding of diplomas, it is Cooney’s job to read each of the names, so – one-by-one the students handed her marbles – to help replace those they may have helped her lose!