POTSDAM - The world was getting set to roll into a new millennium when a group of students got their first taste of school at Norwood-Norfolk Central.
Fast forward to Saturday night, and they were getting their last taste of school at Norwood-Norfolk as they sat on the stage at Hosmer Hall, SUNY Potsdam and waited to receive their diplomas.
Together, as the world was about to enter the new millennium, we entered kindergarten. This was where our school journey began, valedictorian Emily A. Gonthier told her fellow students and the families that packed the seats at Hosmer Hall.
And, over the years, that journey continued and life changed, she said.
In elementary school, Ms. Gonthier said, We played on the playground, girls chasing the boys who were scared of our cooties, jump roping and hula hooping like pros, kids having swinging competitions to see who could swing the highest, and all of us trying to fit as many people as possible on the little bouncy bus, which Im pretty sure we broke because its no longer there. The journey didnt end there, according to the valedictorian. The middle school adventure was about to begin.
In seventh grade we moved a step closer to the high school wing and felt like big kids because we got locks on our lockers and finally got to complain about having only three minutes to walk down the hall to our next class. By the time eighth grade rolled around, we were the highest kids on the totem pole of middle school, Ms. Gonthier recalled.
Middle school soon turned into high school, the place where we learned what stress really is, and that the teachers do enjoy planning to have a test, essay and presentation all on the same day, she said.
And on Saturday night, those days ended, and it was time for the graduates to say goodbye to Norwood-Norfolk Central School.
Together we have been through 13 years of school. Weve watched each other grow from little children to young adults, and seen all the awkward stages in between. Weve been there to laugh at each others embarrassing moments and watch each other shine. And together weve all made memories and shared good times that will surely last us a lifetime, Ms. Gonthier said.
Their time together at Norwood-Norfolk gave them an opportunity dream about the future, salutatorian Jessica L. Harvey said.
From the first day of school to the very last, we constantly have people telling us that we can do anything that we set our mind to, she said. Our dreams might have changed since kindergarten when we all wanted to be princesses, movie stars and astronauts, but we learn that each and every dream matters and no one can take that away from us.
Their NNCS careers also taught them to learn how to laugh and appreciate things in life, Ms. Harvey said.
We are all guilty of saying, I cant wait to get out of here. But there are certain things that you dont appreciate until they are almost gone, she said.
I hope that each and every one of you remembers these three lessons and finds happiness in whatever you choose to do, that you take your successes and learn from them, but more importantly, that you take your failures and built on them, the salutatorian said.