BROADALBIN - A sea of blue and red caps filled Patriot Field on Friday night as the graduating seniors from Broadalbin-Perth High School prepared to celebrate their achievement.
The Class of 2013 heard messages about life from school administrators, student speakers and district Board of Education President Edward Szumowski during the commencement ceremony.
High School Principal Margaret Robin Blowers spoke to the students about the changes they have experienced, both in educational standards and technology.
Sarah Friedlander, left, adjusts the tassel and mortar board on classmate Ian Smith prior to the graduation ceremony on Patriot Field at Broadalbin-Perth High School on Friday.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
She explained they are members of a generation that went from myspace to facebook, and dealt with many changes to educational standards.
Valedictorian Kelsey Rasefske, told her fellow graduates that persistence is what got them to the point of graduation and persistence will be what takes them to future success.
"Challenges and failures are a part of life, but they do not make us who we are," Rasefske said. "It is how we overcome that defines us, which I have been fortunate to learn at just 18."
Salutatorian Amy Walendziak spoke to her peers about the historic events that took place prior to or during senior year, including the Summer Olympics in London, the 57th U.S. Presidential Election and the resignation of a Pope.
However, she said, all of those were just the opening act for the biggest event of the year: their graduation.
"Right now," Walendziak said. "We are on top of the world."
The top 10 students were recognized and awarded medals during the commencement. In addition, 35 students who graduated with a grade point average of 90 percent or better also were recognized.
The senior class of 127 students also heard words of encouragement from Szumowski. He told them to "charge into life with vigor."
The students on the final night of their high school careers threw their caps into the sky and celebrated their educational and athletic accomplishments as they prepared to move on to college, the military or the work force.
After the ceremony, students and families rejoiced with hugs and pictures as the theme from "Pomp and Circumstance," by Edward Elgar filled the night air.
Levi Pascher can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org