CCS graduates told: ‘Next step is ours'

Saturday June 22, 2013


Staff Writer

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- The Cambridge Central School class of 2013 bid farewell to high school on the longest day of the year, and the official start of summer.

The graduating class included 57 students, 38 of whom will be bound for a two- or four-year college next fall.

With all the support so far in their lives, academic or otherwise, "this next step is all ours to take," Valedictorian Jean Brownell said. Speaking to the smallest CCS class in recent or future years, Brownell told her peers: "Whatever you do, enjoy it."

"The thought of this day has motivated us," Salutatorian Emily Fisher said. As per the norm in 2013, Fisher said she consulted Google for help with her speech. "We will fall, fail, and skin our knees in the adult world," she said, but "failure is inevitable."

That theme was echoed by Friday's guest speaker, local Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin, who offered graduates five of his own "rules" for success.

"Number one: Failure is going to happen. Embrace it," McLaughlin began, citing Sylvester Stallone, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein, "everyone one of us makes mistakes and fails."

McLaughlin's second piece of advice was not to worry too much. "It doesn't matter if you have two cars or a car." Health is most important.

His third rule for success? To baseball fans, "you have to learn how to hit the curve."

The fourth piece of advice was to "write it down."

"You should have dreams for your life, you should have goals for your life. ... Take the time to write it down."

McLaughlin ended by telling graduates to just do it. "Pursue your goals, pursue your dreams," he said.

"I'm called assemblyman because I wouldn't quit. ... I was told I wouldn't become governor -- oh, wait, I'm getting ahead of myself there."

Despite sunny skies, the evening's ceremony was held indoors in the school's air-conditioned gymnasium.

Scholarship and award recipients included Brownell, who earned the Rochester Institute of Technology Computing Medal.

Luke Bateman and Lyndsey Brainerd were recognized with the Rochester Institute of Technology Creativity and Innovation Award.

The Student Sage Recognition Nomination went to Sydney Clifford and Fisher.

Bateman and Brownell also earned the St. Lawrence University Augsbury North Country Scholarship.

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