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Fifth-graders graduate from Lake Placid Elementary School

Kahlen Stevens waves to his family after receiving his diploma at the Lake Placid Elementary School's fifth grade graduation on Thursday, June 24 (News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

LAKE PLACID — Moving from one phase of life to another can be scary, but sometimes it’s important to stop for a moment, look back and celebrate the progress that’s been made.

Parents, Lake Placid Elementary School teachers and staff came together on Thursday, June 24 to celebrate Lake Placid’s Class of 2028 with a fifth-grade graduation ceremony. Altogether, 46 students are leaving the elementary school this summer and moving on to middle school in the fall.

The ceremony was hosted in the elementary school fields. The sky above was clear, the bright sunlight lending a pleasant warmth. Kids marched together with their classmates to their seats to the sound of a flute as their families looked on. Student Caitlyn St. Louis was presented an award from the New York State Art Teachers Association by her art teacher, Rebecca Philion.

Lake Placid Elementary School Principal Sonja Franklin heaped praise on the students, who were in kindergarten when she first started at the school. Faced with the challenges of remote learning and a global pandemic, her students rose to the occasion, she said.

“You were presented with grown-up situations, and you still met that goal,” she said. “Remember this, and face every new challenge you have with the gusto I know you have, and continue to conquer the problems that may arise with dignity, style, and hold your head up high.

Ben Sileo, left, fist bumps his teacher Buffy Maiorca. (News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

“Know that you were, and always will be, supported as you go into the future,” she added.

Lake Placid High School’s Class of 2021 salutatorian, Rylee Preston, had some words of advice for her younger peers.

“I can relate to some of the emotions you are probably feeling right now,” she said. “Excitement, nervousness and maybe a little fear. You and I are about to take a great leap into the next chapter of our lives. We are both leaving a place that feels comfortable, a place that is familiar to us, and headed to somewhere new and undiscovered.

“This is a chance to create better relationships to those around you,” she said. “Take this chance to try new things. If you struggled a bit here, take this as a chance to start fresh. If you enjoyed your last six years here, use your experiences to build on the relationships you have and the great qualities I’m sure you’ve built here.”

Preston told the students that they’ve worked hard to get to where they are.

Rose Wenzler, left, bumps fists with teacher Buffy Maiorca at the Lake Placid Elementary School's fifth grade graduation on Thursday, June 24. (News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

“So give yourselves the credit you deserve,” she said.

Elliana Shipman, left, fist bumps her teacher Jon Fremante at the Lake Placid Elementary School's fifth grade graduation on Thursday, June 24. (News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

Mia Marshall fist bumps her teacher Jon Fremante. (News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)