Congratulations to the Hoosick Falls Class of 2012
A Time Of Celebration For The HFCS Class Of 2012
by Bea Peterson
Wednesday evening was the beginning of the final passage for the Hoosick Falls Central School Class of 2012. In almost unbearable heat a portion of the Class and their families gathered at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for Baccalaureate. Graduates Amanda Middleton and Shawn Harris, accompanied by violinist Julia Baker, sang “How Can I Keep From Singing?” and Fr. Tyler Slade, Director of Youth Ministries for the Albany Episcopal Diocese, asked them, how come high school graduates always want to be doctors, lawyers, scientists, but they never say they want to go into the clergy? He said because often they have found that church is boring. In a dynamic and enthusiastic way he expressed his thoughts on God. He related his own experience and, in the end, reminded them God has a plan for them and He loves them.
Rev. Paul Smith presented the Hoosick Area Church Association (HACA) Award to Nicholas Downing. After singing and prayers, each graduate was presented with a small New Testament Bible.
Awards were presented on Thursday evening in the air-conditioned auditorium, where parents were informed by Senior Class Advisor Lynda Huba that 32% of the Class was graduating with a 90 or above grade average. Fifty-one percent were graduating with an 85 or higher average and 70% had participated in at least one extra curricular
activity and had part time jobs.
A slide show presentation of the Class over the years took place during the candle lighting ceremony when the seniors pass on the light of knowledge to a younger classmate or sibling. This was followed by the presentation of 169 honors and awards.
Friday, Graduation day, was hot. At 5 pm, with overcast skies, the choice was made to hold the ceremony outdoors. A nice breeze and heavy dark clouds blotting out the sun made for pleasant weather, though several folks had umbrellas, just in case.
High School Principal Stacy Vadney told the Class of 2012 that their graduation was a time of celebration. “You are leaving your sheltered school life for a messy world with unending problems, but you are well prepared.” She told the audience 75% of the Class will be attending college. Almost 50% have advanced Regents diplomas. Collectively the class has received, from the community and colleges, almost a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships. She stated that in US News and World Report HFCS was rated in the top 10 percent of schools in the country and in the top 20 percent in New York State. “Those of you who take education seriously can match up with any other student in the country,” she told them. She reminded them that it has always been a messy world with unending problems. It is up to them to focus on the good things and make a better world.
Guest Speaker Channel 13 News co-anchor and Health Reporter Benita Zahn told the Class, “How you feel is up to you.” She advised them to be generous with compliments. “Give praise, and give the gift of time,” she said. She encouraged them to look people in the eye when shaking their hand; be friendly. Make opportunities for yourself. Remember – you are one mistake away from ruining your life. Think. Say thank you and please. Remember no matter how far you journey from home, you can always come home, either physically or in your heart.
Hoosick Falls Awards and Scholarships
American Red Cross Scholarship – For outstanding service to the American Red Cross blood drive. – Matty Blair
Auto Tech Award – Here at HFCS we have a group of students who we, as a faculty, rarely thank enough. They fix and change tires. They change oil and they troubleshoot a multitude of other auto related problems. This award is presented in appreciation for all of his hard work and dedication from a faculty member who would like to say “Thank you.” – Chase Thompson
Tony Altobell Memorial Scholarship – Presented by Kim Hayden and given to a student who exhibits the highest degree of academic achievement in both breadth and depth of scientific study and research. Its recipient will reflect in his/her performance the most significant attainment of the knowledge and skills, which Mr. Altobell instilled in his students during his lengthy tenure at Hoosick Falls. This recipient must be one who intends to pursue at the college level a major in at least one of the sciences – Matty Blair
Coach Ken Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund – Presented by Ann Baker and given to a student for commitment to excellence and high personal standards – Alexander Lilac
✥ Jon Beck Memorial Award – Given in memory of Jon Beck, Class of 1974, to the Senior who has shown outstanding interest in the field of agriculture and who is pursuing a career in agriculture – Matty Blair
Bennington Elks Most Valuable Scholarship – Presented by Terri Burdick on behalf of the Hoosick and Bennington, VT combined Elks to Ayla Graney, Mikaela Marbot and Nicholas Downing and
Bennington Elks Walter A. Parmenter Award - Evan Morier
Brooke Bakaitis Memorial Award – Presented by Anne Bakaitis and family – Brooke was a young woman who faced and overcame hardship, but every day exhibited an unbridled enthusiasm for life, a deep and respectful appreciation for nature and love of animals, a strong commitment to continuous academic and physical improvement, and an unconditional devotion to friends and family. This scholarship is given to two young people who exhibit those characteristics so valued and appreciated in Brooke, planning a career in the sciences. – Matty Blair and Shawn Harris
Joseph E. Buckley III Memorial Award – Given to a Senior who demonstrates all around good citizenship in the performance of school related activities – Allison Philpott
Joseph E. Buckley III Scholarship Fund Award – Given to a deserving student as an aid in the pursuit of a chosen vocation or profession -
Cambridge Area Branch of the Woman’s National Farm & Garden Association – Given to a student entering college and majoring in either horticulture, agriculture, marine biology or ecology – Matty Blair
CAPSBA Community Service Award – Given to a student that has been an active student volunteer. – Ana Anderson
Chester James Carknard/ VFW Post 1938 Ladies Auxiliary Scholarship – Given to a Senior girl who has made an extraordinary contribution to her community and/or school – Stephany Bradley
Character Counts Award – Presented by Ellie Danforth and awarded to a Senior boy and Senior girl, who, in everyday interaction with our school and community, demonstrate the six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Caring, Fairness and Citizenship - Aaron Delurey and Amanda Middleton
Christian Action Award – Presented by Rev. Mike Benoit – The Hoosick Area Church Association acknowledges deserving graduating seniors who have exhibited significant Christian attributes and service. This person must be of good Christian character, is actively involved in his church, and shows evidence of ethical concern, Christian witness and service to others – Nicholas Downing
Victoria M. Cicero Memorial Award – Presented by Kathy Dallemagne and given in memory of devoted mathematics teacher, Victoria M. Cicero, presented to a student who will pursue a career in teaching or another field of human services, or to a student who demonstrates a caring attitude toward other students and works hard in his/her math studies – James Willette
Class of 2012 Most Improved Student Award – Marissa Walrath
H. Bradford Cole Music Prize
Presented by Robert Allen and given to the outstanding instrumental student – Allison Philpott
Presented by Ambigay Yudkoff and given to the outstanding all-around musician – Amanda Middleton
George “Gid” Cuddihy Memorial Bowling Award – Given in memory of George “Gid” Cuddihy, who was an avid bowler in Hoosick Falls for approximately “70” years, to a Senior member of the bowling team whose performance, spirit, leadership, integrity, and good sportsmanship contributed the most to the success of the team during the past season – Joseph Wolfrum
Timothy Cuddihy Memorial Award – Given to a Senior boy and Senior girl in memory of Timothy Cuddihy, Class of 2002 – Joseph Wolfrum and Ashley Philpott
Curtis Lumber Award – Given to an outstanding Senior pursuing a career in building construction or architectural technology with emphasis on project development or architectural design – James Niles
DAR Good Citizen Award – Presented to a Senior who demonstrates all-around good citizenship in the performance of school-related activities - Nicholas Downing
Derby Club Community Prize – Awarded to the student who has made a most significant contribution in school-student activities – Ana Anderson
Dignitas Ephemeris Award – Presented by David Coffey – This award recognizes achievement and excellence in journalism. As a positive influence upon peers, the winner of this award has, through a dedication to journalistic code and ethic, consistently showcased community mindedness, clarity of style, and strong moral purpose in his or her writing. The recipient of this award has distinguished himself in academic pursuit consistent with the knowledge, skills, and values that form the goals and objectives of the HFCS District – Ayla Graney
Douglas J. Eighmey Memorial Award – Presented by Lisa Ferrannini and given to the Senior male and female athlete selected by the coaching staff and principal based on the criteria of extent of participation in varsity competition and demonstration of the qualities of leadership and sportsmanship – Tanner Williams and Rachel Quackenbush
Charles And Margaret Frazier Scholarship Award – Given in honor and memory of former Board member, Charles Frazier, to a deserving male and female who have exhibited a high degree of cooperation with faculty and administration – Patrick Hayes and Emily Hoag
Margaret Frazier Scholar Athlete Award – Presented by Lisa Ferrannini and given by the HFCS Athletic Varsity Club to the Senior boy and girl who represent high qualities of both scholarship and athletic ability – James Willette and Stephany Bradley
Greenfield Heritage Award – Presented by Terry Couch and given in memory of Brian Green to a student that has shown academic and athletic excellence – David Couch
Michael Hackett & Robert Scanlon Scholarship Award – Presented by Maureen Carknard and given by the families and friends of Michael and Bob to two graduating Seniors who have displayed courage and strength throughout their high school years. Through the good and the bad, these graduates have excelled in academics and have participated and excelled in athletics. They have displayed strength in character, in leadership and in friendship through their actions and relationships with adults, with their peers and with young children – Stephany Bradley and Lucas Wynants
Award in Memory of James Harrington – Given to a Senior boy who shows a passion for the game of football – Jeremy Barss
James Harrington Memorial Scholarship – Presented by Alisha Rogers and given in memory of James Harrington by friends, family, and the Dan Koziol and James Harrington Memorial Fund to the graduating senior who lives life to the fullest while improving the lives of those around them and/or enjoys outdoor sports and gaming – Todd Rogers
Mason And Betty Harrison Business Award – Given in memory of Mason and Betty Harrison to a business student who is endeavoring to pursue business as a career – Meaghan McKee
Jack Hayden Memorial Award – Presented to the Senior football player who, in the opinion of the Athletic Selection Committee, has demonstrated on and off the field those qualities of leadership, spirit, ability, and citizenship that Jack Hayden so aptly displayed while he represented Hoosick Falls – Tanner Williams
Howard H. Haynes Kiwanis Scholarship – Presented by Sherman Baker. Through the generosity of Howard and Mary Haynes a trust fund was established to create a scholarship to assist a graduating senior at HFCS with the expense of their secondary education. The recipient is chosen by academic achievement, extra curricular and/or community involvement and individual citizenship – Lauren Conte
Hazel M. Hill Award – Presented by the Ondawa-Cambridge Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution in memory of Hazel M. Hill, lifelong resident of West Hoosick active in finance and banking, to a deserving Senior pursuing an education in business – Patrick Priore
Hoosick Area Youth Center & Community Coalition Award Leadership and Service Award – Cody LaFlamme ✥
Hoosick Area Youth Center & Community Coalition Award for Service to Youth Summit – Matty Blair
Hoosick Falls Teachers’ Association Awards – Presented by Jessica Balch to two seniors who have demonstrated a positive work ethic and/or courage in overcoming various hardships – Alex Lilac and Stephany Bradley
Two awards given to seniors for their academic performance and/or artistic achievement – Emma Fricke and Mark Kalenian
Two awards given to seniors who demonstrate outstanding courtesy and respect to both their teachers and their fellow students – Emily Hoag and Matty Blair
Two awards given to a senior boy and girl who have displayed meaningful scholarship and service to school and community – Nicholas Downing and Ayla Graney
Hoosick Federal Credit Union Award – Presented by James Martinez to the individual who approaches her every endeavor with a positive energy and infectious enthusiasm that makes the HFCS community proud. This student’s willingness to help others brings honor to herself, her family and HFCS. This person exhibits a passion for hard work and a willingness to go above and beyond to help improve herself and those around her – Laura Giumarra
Hoosick Grange Prize – Presented to the outstanding student in auto mechanics – Lucas Wynants
Hoosick Grange Prize – Presented to the outstanding student in business – Samantha Yetto
Hoosick Grange Prize – Presented by Ambigay Yudkoff to the student who has shown excellence in music – Evan Morier
W.L. Hutt Memorial Prize - Given to the student with the highest Regents exam average – Michael Merwin
JLS Foundation – Presented by Dr. Todd Wysocki. The JLS Foundation, which honors the memory of the late John Liporace, Sr., was created to empower high school students at HFCS to realize their fullest potential. Students were judged on a written essay, academic achievements, personal work history, community involvement and extra-curricular activities. The scholarship winner will receive a monetary gift and a matching donation will be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – Brendan Gleason
Jenkins PTA Award – Presented by Heather St. Hilaire and given by the PTA to assist outstanding students in preparing for the teaching profession – Mikaela Marbot
President John F. Kennedy Achievement Award – From the Joseph E. Buckley III Trust Fund presented to the member of the Senior Class who has demonstrated outstanding intellectual or physical courage - Lauren Conte
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from the Troy Area United Ministry – Presented by Olivia Walton – This award was established in 1997 to promote the memory of the life and work of Dr. King, and preserve the legacy of the nonviolent civil rights movement expressed through his example and teaching – Mikaela Marbot
Kiwanis Good Citizen Award – Presented by Sherman Baker to two students that have been good citizens at school and in the community – Matthew Gormley and Chelsea Pine
Knights of Pythias Achievement Award – Given to a deserving Senior who has made the greatest progress in extra-curricular activities and/or community endeavors - Amanda Middleton and Alex Lilac
Daniel T. Koziol Memorial Scholarship – Given in memory of Dan Koziol by friends, family and the Dan Koziol and James Harrington Memorial Fund to the graduating senior who lives life to the fullest while improving the lives of those around them and/or enjoys outdoor sports and gaming – Jordon Colvin
Wayne Magisano Memorial Bowling Award – Given in memory of Wayne Magisano, who was a beloved coach and friend of the Bowling Team, to a Senior member who showed great improvement in his/her game while a member of the team, a good work ethic, a great attitude, and a fine example of the bowling team – Mikaela Marbot
Making A Difference Award – Presented by Monita Matte and given by Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Matte, Jr. to a student that has made a difference in his school – Joshua Monroe
Kimberly Ann Malo Award – Presented by David Coffey – This award is given in memory of Kim Malo, HFCS Class of 1975 by her family to the Senior student whose love of reading is evident in all facets of his/her education – Michael Merwin
Stanley Marcus Humanitarian PTA Award – Presented by Heather St. Hilaire – This award is given to honor students that have displayed consistent leadership, volunteerism and character – Nicholas Downing and Mikaela Marbot
NYS Academic Excellence Award – Given to the four students with the overall highest Regents average – Nicholas Downing, Brendan Gleason, Michael Merwin and Alyssa Surdam
NYS Retiree Council 10 Award -
Given to one student in Rensselaer County that is pursuing a degree in education – Mikaela Marbot
Joyce Peckham Memorial Award – Awarded to the student with the highest average in Social Studies and lives in the Town of Pittstown – Mikaela Marbot
The Pioneer Fish And Game Club Award – Presented to a Senior boy or girl who shows concern for the wise use of our natural resources and has been accepted to a two or four year environmental study college – Nicholas Stevens
RPI Medal – Presented last year to the young man/woman in the Junior Class who has excelled in advanced math and science courses, and exhibits significant involvement in extracurricular activities – Allison Philpott
Edith Craig Reynolds Scholarship – Given in memory of Edith Craig Reynolds – Brendan Gleason
RIT Computing Medal – Presented to a member of last year’s Junior Class that ranked in the top 10%, is involved as a leader and demonstrates an interest and ability in computing and is pursuing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum – Michael Merwin
RIT Innovation and Creativity Award Program – Given in recognition of outstanding achievement in innovation and creativity – Ayla Graney
Wayne Roberts Memorial Music Award – Presented by Robert Allen and given in memory of Wayne Roberts, Class of 1946, by his family to the outstanding graduating instrumental music student who has also demonstrated interest in and ability with the piano – Nicholas Downing
Sage Colleges Awards – Given to two students that have proven the characteristics of academic excellence and community service. – Ana Anderson and Ayla Graney
St. Michael’s College Book Award – Given last year to two members of the Junior class for demonstrating excellence in academics and leadership in community service – Nicholas Downing and Meaghan McKee
School Systems Federal Credit Union – Awarded to a Senior that has shown involvement above and beyond his or her peers in their community. He/she has shown a willingness to help others, and show an effort to better improve his or her community – Meaghan McKee
Social Studies Key Award – Presented by Ellie Danforth and given by the Social Studies Department to the senior boy or girl who most clearly demonstrates integrity, good citizenship and intellectual curiosity – Lauren Conte
The Society Of Mayflower Descendants In The State Of New York Educational Award – Presented to two Seniors with a proficiency in the study of the history of the United States and understanding of the Constitution – Katherine Bakaitis and Lauren Conte
Society Of Woman Engineers – Given last year to two female students in the Junior class for achievement in Mathematics and Science – Stephany Bradley and Allison Philpott
Jeffrey M. Stratton Memorial Scholarship - A scholarship in memory of Jeffrey M. Stratton awarded to a Senior boy or girl who has been accepted and will be attending a four-year college, who has demonstrated academic excellence by maintaining an honor roll average (grades 9 through 12), and participated in both varsity athletics and performing arts – James Willette
Student Council Scholarship – Given for service and dedication to the Student Council – Katherine Bakaitis and Matty Blair
Student Council Senior Participation Awards – Katherine Bakaitis, Jeremy Barss, Matty Blair, Aaron Delurey, Lauren Giumarra, Cody LaFlamme, Alexander Lilac, Mikaela Marbot and Randy Roy
William D. Thomas Memorial Senior Honor Prize – Highest four-year average – Valedictorian Michael Merwin. Second highest four-year average – Salutatorian Nicholas Downing
Given On Behalf Of Thorpe’s Pharmacy – To a student showing excellence in character and citizenship – Aaron Delurey
Town of Hoosick Democratic Committee Prize – Given by the Town of Hoosick Democratic Committee to a student residing in the Town who has shown scholarship and interest in government – Katherine Bakaitis
Town Of Hoosick Lions Club Harold Shapiro Memorial Award – Given to the outstanding female athlete of the graduating class – Rachel Quackenbush
Town Of Hoosick Republican Committee Prize – Presented by Louis Schmigel and given by the Town of Hoosick Republican Committee to a student residing in the town who has shown scholarship, interest in government and his community – Hailey Bugbee
Lancelee James Trimm Gift Fund – Presented by Melodee James and given in memory of Lancelee. He was a musician, actor, theater technician, poet, writer, and graphic artist. In short, Lancelee loved all art in all its forms. The award is given to a student that demonstrates creative promise with the hope to assist those pursuing careers in the arts and those who utilize art in their journey of self discovery – Amanda Middleton
United States Air Force Award – Michael Merwin
United States Army Reserve National Scholar Athletes – Tanner Williams and Rachel Quackenbush
Presented by Marine Sgt. Tighe
United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Awards – Alexander Lilac and Meaghan McKee
United States Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award – Michael Merwin
United States Marine Corps Semper Fidelis Award – Charles Stowell
University of Rochester Bausch & Lomb Science Award – Presented last year to a member of the Junior Class that had high achievement and rigor in science classes and a high PSAT Math and/or SAT Math scores – Michael Merwin
University of Rochester Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award – Presented last year to a member of the Junior Class that has demonstrated commitment to understanding and addressing social issues, leadership, and a dedication to community action. The student should also have strong grades and rigorous courses taken in the humanities and social sciences – Mikaela Marbot
University of Rochester George Eastman Young Leaders Award – Presented last year to a member of the Junior Class that has shown strong academic achievement, leadership skills, and shows dedication to varied activities – Alyssa Surdam
University of Rochester Xerox Award – Presented last year to a member of the Junior Class who has demonstrated a strong interest in innovation and/or information technology and is proven to be a high achiever in this area – Brendan Gleason
Van Rensselaer Masonic Temple Award – Presented by Bruce Hansen and given to a Senior boy and Senior girl showing the greatest academic improvement over four years – Spenser Thomas and Samantha Yetto
Volunteer Service Award – Presented to Seniors who have volunteered for any Rescue Squad or Fire Department – Nathaniel Mosley and Charles Stowell
Robert Waite Memorial Award – Given to a senior that lives in Washington County that has demonstrated in a natural and unselfish way, caring for others, sharing of herself, dedication to cause and conviction in one’s beliefs. – Meaghan McKee
Wells College Leadership Award - Meaghan McKee
Given to the top 10 ranked students of the Class of 2012 – Michael Merwin, Nicholas Downing, Allison Philpott, Mikaela Marbot, Alyssa Surdam, Brendan Gleason, Ayla Graney, Amanda Middleton, James Willette and Lauren Conte
Given to students that have maintained a 90 or above average for the first three marking periods – Ana Anderson, Samantha Bakaitis, Stephany Bradley, Hailey Bugbee, Jordan Colvin, Lauren Conte, Jennifer Danforth, Nicholas Downing, Lauren Giumarra, Brendan Gleason, Matthew Gormley, Ayla Graney, Emily Hoag, Alexander Lilac, Mikaela Marbot, Meaghan McKee, Michael Merwin, Amanda Middleton, Aaron Perkins, Allison Philpott, Ashley Philpott, Kaayla Sjaan Reynolds-Hunt, Alexis Smith, Alyssa Surdam, James Willette and Tanner Williams
Hoosick Falls Valedictory
by Michael Merwin
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss. This quote isn’t completely relevant to my speech, but I was told to use one, and I like Dr. Seuss so I went with it.
As I kick this off, I’d just like to say that it would make me feel really good about myself if you all could burst into applause after every single thing I say.
Now, welcome, fellow graduates, faculty, administrators, family and those of you who have perhaps never seen me before in your life.
Well, here we are after several long years of persevering through tough homework and intense studying… or maybe not so much. We’re ready to go into the real world ourselves, and I’m supposed to offer a life lesson and words of wisdom.
Oh well. Here goes nothing. If there’s anything that I learned over the past four years, through surviving as timid freshmen and suffering in a smelly senior lounge, it’s “do whatever it takes to make yourself happy.” Such a simple saying could appear to hold no significant bearing for life, but I believe it could make all the difference regarding how one lives his or her life.
In this day and age, there’s so much pressure on us to be successful in life, be it by being a doctor, an engineer or even a star, but that doesn’t always warrant the utmost contentment in what you’re doing. It’s such a cliché in movies and whatnot for one to struggle over the choice of doing what makes one happy or simply better off, but it really is relevant. For example, would it be worth being stuck behind a desk for ten hours a day rather than having fun as, say, a graphic designer for a couple more thousand dollars a year? Everyone may not agree on how to answer that, but I hope you get my point. Ultimately, I do hope all of the graduates here will indeed strive for happiness in life, because it will in fact be the most beneficial for them. I’m sure many of you have, so far, lived life mostly not listening to other people and instead “doing you,” as people apparently say nowadays, so why change your ways now?
Any person would be crazy to say that high school has been the utterly worst or best possible thing to ever happen in their lives because, of course, it’s not going to be as perfect or imperfect as some would think it to be. For example, I will never get over the fact that we never had a math team of some sorts, me being a complete math nerd and whatnot. I also will always be saddened over my not getting a senior superlative, though I think they should’ve customized one just for me, like “best portrayal of a drug addict who would lie dead for six minutes in a school play.” Thanks, Mr. Allen.
Not all flaws in high school are inherent, however, as I have some regrets that are purely of my doing. For one thing, which is actually many things, there are so many aspects of school at which I failed at beating my older sister. Almost all of my teachers during any given school year have at least once compared me to Sam, much to my dismay, asking if I was going to do just as well as she did on the regents or something. Most of the time I let them down. I’m not even going to bother comparing our test scores and GPAs over the years. One thing I do have over her though is getting a 99 on the Algebra 2 and Trig regents, and she can’t take that away from me. Of course, in her day, Algebra 2 and Trig wasn’t even a class yet. Gotta take what you can get.
As a whole, our class has gone through quite the times over the past couple of years. Through all the good and the bad we’ve all had through high school, the tragedies and sadness, the new experiences and friends, I’d like to think we’ve all ended it feeling on top. Overall, I hope I speak for all my fellow classmates when I say I’ve had one heck of a high school experience, and I just wish I met some of them earlier on in life, though I’m glad to know them now.
I can’t thank enough people for helping me get to this stage. Mom and dad, thanks for the support. My two sisters, thanks for the support. The rest of my family, including my seven year old cousin Zander, thanks for the support. Ayla Graney and my cat Tiki, thanks for the support. Faculty and staff, especially Bilow and Coffey but except for Michalak, thanks for the support. Cows that we can see and smell from the classroom windows, thanks for the support. Vending machines in the cafeteria, thanks for the support. And now, as a financial start to my post-high school career, I will mention those who have paid me to mention them in my speech. Doug Wilcox, Matty Blair, Stephany Bradley, Alexis Smith, Molly Frazier, Connor Martin, Katelyn Harrison, Lauren Conte, Greg Pirie and Lee Anne Shaw Spurr, thanks for the support.
Now, for my final words, I wish the best of luck to my fellow graduating classmates and advise anyone here that hasn’t started high school yet to not wear flip flops on the first day. People like Matt Gormley will never let you forget it.
In the words of the adored and famous Tigger, TTFN: ta ta for now! Thank you.
Hoosick Falls Salutatory
by Nicholas Downing
Good evening. Before I begin my speech I would like to take a moment to remember two students who can’t be with us tonight. Joe Sweeney and Tyler Marcoux will always have a special place in the hearts of the Class of 2012. Please join me in a moment of silence to remember our fellow classmates.
It seems that we have reached the end of a chapter in our lives. While this is a huge moment for us it is not truly an ending but rather the beginning of more adventures, chaos and success. It’s hard to think that thirteen years ago our parents were standing with us at the bus stop waiting to ship us off to school. All we could think about was how cool it was to ride the big yellow school bus. Those were the days. Nap time, snack time, recess and even George of the Jungle in gym class. We had it all, and we didn’t even have to do homework. Our parents loved it too because their tax dollars were paying for a free babysitting service. Those days soon faded and we began to rise through the grades. We were assigned homework and actually had to learn, and for some reason recess got shorter and shorter. Then fifth and sixth grade came around and we began switching classes, going to the firehouse dances and even started dating, although koodies were still a major issue to overcome. We even learned that Dr. Redstone wasn’t a person but rather a name for a bomb threat. When we reached seventh grade we began to follow a more high school oriented schedule where classrooms weren’t on the same hallway and class periods were much longer. By the way, recess no longer existed, unless you consider running the mile as recess. Time continued to fly, and it was the beginning of our freshman year. We had heard many horror stories about the upperclassmen, but nothing could prepare us to be “Fresh-meat.” Yes we were on the bottom of the totem pole and no one let us forget it. Seniors would give us wrong directions or even call us names, but we survived, probably due to wonderful teachers like Mrs. Hoag who you could hear singing the quadratic formula song or even kicking her trash can to wake up her students or Mrs. Hayden who predicted our snow days by wrapping a towel around her head and shaking her magic eight ball. We even got to enjoy our first Spirit Week and Homecoming. Sophomore year came and went without much excitement, and finally we arrived at our Junior Year. We were now able to play in the powder puff games, although it always seems like the Seniors win. Probably the greatest event of this year was Prom, and boy did we have a Prom. We took over the Desmond Hotel and never looked back. From there Senior Year started and flew by. We had an amazing Senior Ball at the Hilton and took Boston by storm for our Senior Trip. There was nothing that our class couldn’t do. We have survived thirteen years of schooling, and for many of us this is just the beginning of our futures and I know that no matter what we choose to do we will accomplish it with a smile. As we go our separate ways remember that only you can choose what you make of tomorrow. I would like to read a poem by Mary Schmich that I feel gives some of the best advice for our futures.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance.
So are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most like to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.
Thank you Mom and Dad and to everyone else who has ever been there for us, without you we couldn’t have made it this far. To my classmates, Congratulations and good luck! Just remember, the World isn’t ending, we’re just taking it over.
Hoosick Falls Class of 2012 Where Are They Going?
Megan Amidon – Community College of Vermont
Ana Anderson – Employment
Mitchell Andrew – Hudson Valley Community College
Sierra Bailey – Hudson Valley Community College
Katherine Bakaitis – College of St. Rose
Samantha Bakaitis – Endicott College
Jeremy Barss – Ithaca College
Dalton Bettis – Hudson Valley Community College
Matty Blair – Paul Smith’s College
Michael Bohmer – Hudson Valley Community College
Stephany Bradley – SUNY Albany
Cody Brock – Hudson Valley Community College
Hailey Bugbee – SUNY Oneonta
Cayla Burdick – SUNY Plattsburgh
Joseph Cavanaugh – Hudson Valley Community College
Jordan Colvin – SUNY Oswego
Lauren Conte – Loyola University
Michael Coon – Employment
Patrick Cooper – Employment
Ryan Cottrell – Hudson Valley Community College
David Couch – Alfred University
James Cutler – US Marine Corps
Jennifer Danforth – Community College of Vermont
Aaron Delurey – North Country Community College
Desiree DeTraglia – Undecided
Nicholas Downing – Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Emma Fricke – Hobart & William Smith
Lauren Giumarra – Hudson Valley Community College
Brendan Gleason – Cornell University
Maritza Gonzalez – SUNY Oneonta
Matthew Gormley – Siena College
Ayla Graney – Endicott College
Thomas Grogan – Undecided
Shawn Harris – Paul Smith’s College
Patrick Hayes – Hudson Valley Community College
Emily Hoag – Syracuse University
Jake Hodsdon – Employment
Courtney Honsinger – Trade School
Ryan Hyde – Siena college
Nicholas Jones – Hudson Valley Community College
Donald Kakule – US Marine Corps
Mark Kalenian – Employment
Jacob LaBonte – US Marine Corps
Cody LaFlamme – Oswego State
Alexander Lilac – SUNY Cortland
Brandon Magazu Hudson Valley Community College
Mikaela Marbot – Sacred Heart University
Nicole Marmillo – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Michael McGuire – Rochester Institute of Technology
Meaghan McKee – SUNY Oneonta
George Mentiply – Hudson Valley Community College
Michael Merwin – Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Amanda Middleton – Paul Smith’s college
Joshua Monroe – Hudson Valley Community College
Evan Morier – SUNY Oneonta
Nathaniel Moseley – US Navy
Joshua Mulready – Hudson Valley Community College
James Niles – Employment
Skye Niles – Hudson Valley Community College
Connor Nilsen – Hudson Valley Community College
Kathy Numbers – Bryant and Stratton College
Scott Pelletier – Hudson Valley Community College
Aaron Perkins – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Allison Philpott – Hartwick College
Ashley Philpott – Russell Sage college
Kristin Pierce – Employment
Chelsea Pine – Castleton State College
Patrick Priore – Hudson Valley Community College
Rachel Quackenbush – Siena College
KaaylaSjaan Reynolds-Hunt – Employment
Steven Rice – ITT Tech
Carson Rogers – Employment
Todd Rogers – Hudson Valley Community College
Randy Roy – Hudson Valley Community College
Michael Sargood – Employment
Courtney Sherman – Employment
Alexis Smith – Hudson Valley Community College
Kailia Smith – Hudson Valley Community College
Kyle Spinelli – Hudson Valley Community College
Erik Springer – Employment
Jennifer Steller – SUNY Albany
Nicholas Stevens – Paul Smith’s College
Charles Stowell – Hudson Valley Community College
Alyssa Surdam – University at Buffalo
Pam Thomas – SUNY Albany
Spencer Thomas – Hudson Valley Community College
Chase Thompson – Employment
Demitri Tracy – Franklin Pierce University
Marissa Walrath – Russell Sage College
Joseph Wells – US Army
Douglas Wilcox – Champlain College
James Willette – Franklin Pierce University
Tanner Williams – Hartwick College
Joseph Wolfrum – Hudson Valley Community College
Brandon Wong – Hudson Valley Community College
Lucas Wynants – SUNY Cobleskill
Samantha Yetto – Hudson Valley Community College