LAKE PLACID - With the High Peaks looming in the distance, and friends and families gathered in the center of the Olympic Speedskating Oval, members of the Lake Placid High School Class of 2012 received their diplomas Friday, June 22.
"I challenge you to go with your heart and be there for others," valedictorian Megan Borland told her fellow classmates. "Your choices will affect so many more people than you will ever know."
More than 50 students walked the stage during the commencement ceremony. Some plan to attend college, while others plan to travel or enter directly into the workforce. Borland told them that no matter what they do, they should do it with passion, not for recognition.
The Lake Placid High School Class of 2012 moments after the end of the graduation ceremony held Friday, June 22 at the Olympic Oval in front of the school.
"The future is exciting," she said. "But it can also be a little scary."
Borland urged her classmates to continue to push themselves, noting that graduating from high school "is merely a checkpoint" in a person's life.
The salutatorian, Ayla Thompson, said each graduate will go on to play a specific role in society. She said those roles will likely vary widely, and the important thing is to do them wholeheartedly.
"Don't do things with half of your heart," she said. "To truly be fulfilled you have to give it your all."
Thompson also talked about opportunity. While visiting Jamaica, where her family is originally from, for her senior project earlier this year, she met people with less means than her who saw opportunity in everything.
"Don't take opportunity for granted," Thompson said.
The 2012 commencement speaker was Mary Kelley, a retired Lake Placid Elementary School teacher. The graduates selected her to give the commencement address.
Kelley told the seniors that "a smile is the greatest asset we have.
"It says who we are; it cuts across language," she said.
Kelley encouraged the Class of 2012 to carry those smiles with them wherever they go and to "savor each moment."
Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or cmorris@