LISBON – It was a bittersweet occasion as 33 Lisbon Central School graduates, diplomas in hand, each turned their tassels to the left and walked off the stage towards their prospective futures.
Many graduates acknowledged they would soon be leaving the only place they have ever called home. Some graduates will go on to study mathematics, psychology, nursing or engineering, while others are heading directly into the workforce or serving their country in the Army, Air Force and Navy.
Embrace change, Tai-Avery N. Alberto, honors speaker, said. Change, as with most things, is inevitable and in my short time in high school and on this earth a lot has changed. Not just for myself but for the entire world. Change is not something to be feared, but rather something we should embrace because in change lies the power to better our surroundings and ourselves.
For many, the rolling fields of Lisbon, filled with green pastures, corn fields and tractors, would always be home.
The beauty of Lisbon is that it will always be here, relatively unchanged because we all know trends take two or three years to catch on here, Valedictorian Allison M. Crowley quipped. So as we go out into the world to carve our own paths we have to remember we always have a place to come home to, a place that has given us roots so that we could grow branches . It is important to remember not only where we are heading, but where we came from.
After receiving their diplomas, Superintendent Erin E. Woods asked graduates to take a moment to reflect on not only where they have been, but where they are going.
I want you each to take a moment and breathe in the wonderful scene, said Superintendent Erin E. Woods. Each of you feels different, because youre all individuals, each with your own future... Think of what got you here, but also think of the future.
Perhaps the feeling was best expressed by Salutatorian Sarah A. Newtown, who quoted English author, Terry Pratchett: There isnt a way things should be. Theres what happens, and what we do.
As the students formed a line on the schools lawn to meet their families, friends, teachers and administrators who have supported them for the past 13 years, they were no doubt faced with surreal and new notion: that change is what happens, and growing up is what we do.