“How do you express your feelings for a place that’s done so much for you?” asks Voorheesville’s valedictorian, Abigail Keating Goldfarb. She has loved school since the start and will carry her passion for learning to Brown University.

Madison Rose Canfora credits her family for her success. Voorheesville’s salutatorian plans to study medicine at Duke University, which she chose for its balance between social and academic life.

The valedictorian spoke on the importance of hard work; the salutatorian on the need to stay true to self; and the keynote speaker, science teacher Kenneth Young, gave the 95 graduates a self-care list to follow — all at Voorheesville’s June 23 graduation ceremony.

At the Berne-Knox-Westerlo graduation, speakers looked two ways: back at the graduates’ past experiences at BKW, and also to their future paths in life.

Concern for material success was not a dominant theme of the speeches at Guilderland’s commencement ceremony on June 24, 2017. Instead, speakers advised graduates to speak the truth, learn to listen, and empathize with others.

Patrick J. Stempel

BERNE — When Patrick John Stempel, also known as P.J., graduated this June and celebrated this past weekend, he was the third generation in his family not only to graduate from Berne-Knox-Westerlo, but to be a certified emergency medical technician.

Since this is the graduation issue, I thought I’d take this opportunity to give a commencement address.

Graduates, you achieved your task; you completed the requirements of one phase of your life. Now, you must move into the next phase — how will you go about it?

When you’re a child, people tell you what matters. “When you become older…you need to figure it out for yourself,” said Superintendent Marie Wiles.


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