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Local BOCES school graduates 63

Building trades instructor Clarence Brockway, left, congratulates Grant Eckardt on graduating Monday at Adirondack Educational Center. Eckardt was the Saranac Lake recipient of the Apple Award, which goes to the student with the highest average in each school district. (Enterprise photo — Kevin Shea)

SARANAC LAKE — Graduations often consist of long, planned speeches that draw out the anticipation of students waiting to graduate and parents holding back tears, but Adirondack Educational Center Principal Rick Swanston mentioned a thought that had just then popped into his and a co-worker’s head.

“It seems like only yesterday that all of you marched into this gym two years ago,” he said.

On Monday, 63 BOCES students from the Adirondack Educational Center prepared for the continuation of their lives with a celebration of the work they had done the past two years. Family members, loved ones and friends whistled, awed and cheered as the students walked up to their teachers and administrators to receive acknowledgement that all they had done and gone through had been noticed.

BOCES board members offered advice and encouragement to the graduating class. Many begged them to continue to learn, to persevere and to be happy and kind.

“Like Winnie the Pooh, be brave,” said Elizabeth Forsell, guest speaker and BOCES board member.

Madison Mousaw hugs her cosmetology instructor Darcey Burman during the BOCES graduation Monday in the North Country Community College gym in Saranac Lake. (Enterprise photo — Kevin Shea)

Special awards were given to students who had achieved excellence in their two years of learning. Apple awards were given to one student from each of Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid for having the highest average in their district. Cole Jacques of Lake Placid, Grant Eckardt of Saranac Lake and Jeremiah Bell of Tupper Lake each received these awards.

The Kenneth R. and Kevin R. Ruehl award was given to a student from a Career and Technical Education program for having a high level of competency and likelihood to succeed in that program. Jeremiah Bell was the recipient of the award.

The Billy Lyon Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Ray Amell for being an eager and committed automotive technology senior and for showing great improvement in his skills.

Kiana Carter was awarded the New York State Business Officials award, as she is either pursuing a career in business or planning to start a business.

Then awards were given to each of the students. Some signified hard work, others passing a certain test for their field of study, and some signified academic excellence.

Maddison Proulx of Tupper Lake hugs one of her cosmetology instructors, Katrina Brown, during the Adirondack Educational Center graduation Monday in the North Country Community College gym in Saranac Lake. (Enterprise photo — Kevin Shea)

Students were surrounded by parents as they walked up to their teachers and hugged them one last time. The sorrow in the eyes of teachers as they watched their students walk off to join their parents lined the joyous summer day with a slice of melancholy. Many offered encouragement and congratulated them, offering sentiments similar to those of Forsell.

“And lastly, Winnie knows that you are smart and capable,” Forsell said.

CU photo gallery of graduation at Adirondack Educational Center

The Kenneth R. and Kevin R. Ruehl award was given to a student from a Career and Technical Education program for having a high level of competency and likelihood to succeed in that program. Jeremiah Bell was the recipient of the award. (Enterprise photo — Kevin Shea)

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