Today is a day of celebration, and I congratulate every one of you on your accomplishment.
That was how Maryellen Symer, principal of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, ended her final address to the Class of 2008 on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 25, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
She also made mention of the numerous extracurricular achievements of the Class of 2008, from musical honors awarded to the band in Orlando; to the science bowl team's trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national championship; to the many athletic accomplishments of Spartan teams.
But going to BH-BL is about more than education and extra-curricular activities, according to John Blowers, a member of the board of education.
"I was an average student, but what wasn't average about my high school experience is where I had it," he said. "A Burnt Hills, education is filled with special moments that don't come with a lot of fanfare, but are special nonetheless."
Blowers spoke of the role of BH-BL teachers in the lives of students, and credited his English teacher in the recent publishing of his first novel.
Echoing his thoughts was valedictorian Allison Burda, who will be attending Sage College.
"I, like all of you, am looking forward to starting college in the fall, but I will miss the camaraderie I found here," said Burda. "We can take comfort and find strength in the education we received at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake."
Time spent at BH-BL, and the importance of time to come, was reflected upon by Salutatorian Keren Minto, who will be attending Lehman College of Manhattan in the fall.
"I believe time is one of our most valuable resources," said Minto.
She told the story of how, during a recent visit to New York City, a construction crane had collapsed just blocks from her hotel. Two construction workers died in the incident, and it made Minto think about life.