By CRYSTAL BAUMES
FORT PLAIN - The Harry Hoag School gymnasium was filled with laughter, tears, celebration and words of wisdom during Fort Plain High School's 118th commencement on Saturday.
Members of the Fort Plain Class of 2013 prepare to receive their diplomas Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/Crystal Baumes)
As Principal Deborah Larrabee explained, "It's time to let go."
With 62 members in the graduating class, Larrabee let the audience know this was an exceptional class that will be missed.
Her speech consisted of her personal guidelines for living. Her tips included not wasting whole days on the couch watching TV or playing video games, to sing - even if it's only in the living room - not stressing over the future, being nice, not posting everything that happens in your life on Facebook and always challenging yourself. She concluded with, "Trust me, be sure to wash your hands."
In his speech, Valedictorian Timothy Wolfe offered advice from those who guided the class over the years.
He recalled advice from his fifth-grade social studies teacher: "Good choices, good consequences; bad choices, bad consequences."
Wolfe encouraged his class to not give up no matter what obstacles they may face. He said Fort Plain coach Craig Phillips had inspired those words.
Wolfe recalled a speech that coach Casey Russom gave to his players on their basketball senior night. The words of wisdom included "to look people in the eye, use a firm handshake, chase your dreams and take a chance in life."
Jocelyn Arndt, salutatorian, didn't give a speech, but she wrote and played a song, "Lucky Thirteen," for her class and the audience.
The lyrics reflected the experiences of the last 13 years.
The ceremony also included special presentations from the class officers. These presentations were to give thanks and honor those who have helped them along the way.
Among those recognized were class advisers Margaret DiBiase and Patti Jarabeck.
After receiving their diplomas and moving their tassels, the graduates celebrated in a sea of color by spraying silly string all over each other.